HOUSTON, Texas–A city council in Denton, Texas–a gas city that is located on top of a large reserve–rejected a ban on fracking this week.
The Denton City Council voted against the proposal 5-2 following eight hours of hearing public opinions, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Had the ban passed, Denton would have become the first city in Texas to prohibit fracking. To many, such a ban would seem more typical of a California city. Indeed, in May Santa Cruz County in California voted unanimously to ban fracking.
Denton is located directly on top of the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country, according to the AP. Gas fields in the town have reportedly produced a billion dollars in mineral wealth and allowed the city to prosper.
There are are obvious benefits to fracking, which includes blasting water, sand, and other chemicals. Fracking lowers the cost of natural gas and could help make the U.S. energy independent. Fox Business Network’s John Stossel has also pointed out that “for those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil and coal helps reduce CO2 emissions.”
But not everyone believes the positives outweigh the negatives.
Ed Soph, a Denton resident and professor of music at the University of North Texas, supported the proposed fracking ban. Referring to an article penned in June, Soph told Breitbart Texas, “If you and your family experienced two weeks of the noise and dust and foul air and toxic emissions of the process, the arrogance of the industry, and the incompetence of both local and state officials to protect the health and property rights of the tax paying residents you would write a much different story.”
Soph is part of the Denton Drilling Awarness Group (DAG), which aims to make Denton “frack free.” The group’s website says, “Knowing that a precautionary approach provides the best protection for the health and well being of the city, DentonDAG has initiated a citizens’ petition to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) within the city limits until the process has been proven safe or until technological advances ensure that there are no credible environmental and health hazards.”
A petition supporting a fracking ban gained around 2,000 signatures, the AP reported.
As the ban was being considered, leaders in Denton put in place a temporary “halt,” which will expire in September.
Breitbart Texas attempted to reach out to several Denton City Council members by phone; no calls were immediately returned.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.