The Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) has requested an injunction against a fracking ban passed by voters in Denton, Texas this Tuesday. It is the first group to legally challenge the new ban.
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. The fracking ban prohibits new permits for the high-tech drilling process, which which includes blasting water, sand, and other chemicals. Denton is the first Texas city to pass such a ban.
Attorney Thomas R. Phillips — a former Texas Supreme Court justice — is representing the TXOGA, according to KHOU. Phillips reportedly said that his client “believes that the courts of this State should give a prompt and authoritative answer on whether Denton voters had the authority under state law to enact” on the fracking ban.
“While home-rule cities like Denton may certainly regulate some aspects of exploration and drilling, TXOGA does not believe that they may enact ordinances that outlaw conduct, like hydraulic fracturing, that has been approved and regulated by state agencies such as the Railroad Commission or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” Phillips reportedly said in a statement.
Fracking has allowed Denton, a gas and oil city, to flourish economically. The drilling method additionally lowers the cost of natural gas and could help make the U.S. energy independent.
The gas an oil industry 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.
Denton’s Mayor, Chris Watts, is ready to defend and enforce the ban.
Watts said in a statement obtained by KHOU, “The City Council is committed to defending the ordinance and will exercise the legal remedies that are available to us should the ordinance be challenged.”
At this point, the fracking ban is set to go into effect on December 2.
Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinBTate.