EARTHWORKS

Denton, Texas sends fracking ban to November ballot

Sharon Wilson's avatar
By Sharon Wilson

July 16, 2014

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TXSharon and the Frack Free Denton team at the hearing. Photo: Jennifer Lane

I spent eight hours in Denton on Tuesday night at a city council hearing to consider a ban on fracking in city limits, and during that time, I saw the oil and gas industry do what they do best. And that’s not drilling and fracking, folks. It’s bullying, lying, spreading propaganda and fear mongering. Their behavior and dirty tricks were abysmal and fooled no one who mattered; even the Council called them out on it.

The good news is that I also saw the people of Denton, nearly 100 of them, stand up and speak for their rights to clean air, and to quiet neighborhoods, and healthy kids. The bad news is that the city council listened to the industry suits, wearing nice shoes and representing oil and gas companies and mineral rights owners intent on profiting from other people’s misery. At 3AM, the city council voted against a ban, sending the question to the ballot measure in the fall.

Shortly after the vote, here’s what was overheard from one of the industry suits: “Good. They are taking it to a vote. All we have to do is rent up a bunch of cheap apartments and houses and get people to register to vote using those addresses.” In the parking lot, I told one industry representative from Austin that they were making promises like a cheating husband. His response: “You aren’t going to get your ban, little lady.”

So there you have it. Just a taste of what is coming to Denton in 2014. Millions will be spent and it will be ugly. The worst thing is that the City Council admitted  there is no way the vote will be fair because citizens cannot compete with the millions industry will pump into corrupting the vote.

Some of my favorite moments and random thoughts about the meeting last night:

It was really amazing to see the hundreds of Denton residents who packed the room to support the ban. We were the vast majority, and in November, they will hear from us again.

If you want to help

Denton has a lot of guts and a lot of smarts so we don’t need a lot of money to fight the millions industry will pour into this. But we do need some money. So please, give whatever you can.

You could also buy one of our very cool t-shirts. Wear the t-shirt. Talk to people. Sign up for the mailing list. VOTE!


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Tagged with: texas, fracking, denton, ban

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