It appears that several Texas towns may be following the footsteps of Denton, the gas and oil city that voted to ban fracking in November.
Reno, Texas, has taken the first steps to put such a ban in place. Last year the city — located about 50 miles west of Dallas — experienced its first earthquake. It was this event that caused residents to consider a fracking ban, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Reno Mayor Lyndamyrth Stokes has reportedly been getting calls from concerned citizens, many of whom believe fracking is responsible for the tremors. Although seismologists have not yet confirmed suspicion, Stokes told the AP she believes a ban on fracking will be passed in April. Such a law would allow fracking for only those who can prove their hydraulic fracturing injections will not cause earthquakes.
Fracking includes blasting water, sand, and other chemicals. Those who support a ban on the practice complain that it has a negative impact on the environment. Ed Soph, a Denton resident and professor of music at the University of North Texas, told Breitbart Texas that he supported the Denton fracking ban due to the “foul air and toxic emissions [involved in 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.”
However, those who oppose the ban assert that Soph and others are buying into over-dramatic rhetoric that is crafted to be scary.
Denton County Republican Chairman Dianne Edmondson previously stated that most of the funding for Frack Free Denton — a group that was critical in helping the ban past — was heavily funded by “a radical environmental group in Washington D.C.”
The fact that other Texas cities may take Denton’s lead on instating a ban could signal a shift in thinking in the Lone Star State.
“The willingness to reject fracking in the heart of oil and gas country reflects a broader shift in thinking,” the AP reported. “In place of gas drills, some of Denton’s 120,000 residents envision a future in which their city is known for environmentally friendly commerce and the nation’s largest community garden. They’ve even embarked on a campaign to persuade the maker of Sriracha hot sauce to expand its massive pepper-grinding business here — a prospect that appeals to the local farm-to-table culture.”
The U.S. gas an oil industry, which relies heavily on fracking, has allowed Texas to thrive and become an economic powerhouse.
Many have ditched California and its anti-business policies in favor of Texas, where young people are getting rich in gas and oil. New drilling technology has shifted the focus of the oil industry, and provided an ideal opportunity for millenials to enter the scene.
Texas-based fracking bans could have a substantial impact on the state economy — and perhaps even the national economy, too.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.