On Nov. 4, Denton became the first city in Texas to pass a ban on hydraulic fracturing. The ban passed with approximately 59 percent of the vote. To say that the anti-fracking measure was contested would be a gross understatement. Before the November elections were even held, a number of landowners sued Denton, challenging the city’s drilling moratorium. The fracking prohibition may prove to be a mere symbolic gesture, however, as the debate over the controversial fracking ban has moved from the ballots to the judicial system.
The morning after the election, the Texas General Land Office filed a motion in Travis County, requesting declaratory relief and an injunction against the enforcement of the fracking ban. The GLO was not alone in challenging the Denton ban. The Texas Oil and Gas Association also filed suit against Denton, albeit in Denton County, raising claims similar to those found in the GLO’s motion. This may only be the beginning of the legal challenges Denton will face due to the anti-fracking measure.
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A Short-Lived Victory For Anti-Fracking Groups in Denton, Texas