HOUSTON, Texas — Voters in Denton, Texas will go to the polls in November to vote on a proposed fracking ban. The vote follows Denton’s City Council rejection of the proposal earlier this month.
Denton sits on top of a large reserve called the Bernett Shale–the gas and oil industry in the city has allowed its economy to prosper.
If the ban ultimately passes, Denton will be the first city in Texas to prohibit fracking. To many, such a ban would seem more typical of a California city; in May Santa Cruz County in California voted unanimously to ban fracking.
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 wants to see fracking be banned 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.
Richarld Burleson recently penned a piece in the Houston Chronicle that said:
A recent report from The Perryman Group estimates that if fracking were barred, it could potentially cost Denton $251.4 million in economic activity and 2,000 jobs over the next 10 years; slash tax revenues by $5.1 million to the city; and reduce revenues to the Denton Independent School District by $4.6 million. That money would have to be made up somewhere in order to maintain essential city services. The guess here is that it would ultimately have to come out of residents’ pockets.
It is easy to imagine that a fracking ban in Denton could have a negative impact not just on Texas’ economy, but also on the national economy.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.