Reuters / Terry Wade
Voters in Denton, Texas approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on Tuesday, making the city the first in Texas to outlaw the controversial gas-extraction process.
The ban is likely to garner legal challenges, but, for now, supporters celebrating the landmark vote in a state famous for oil and gas development.
“Denton, Texas is where hydraulic fracturing was invented,” said Bruce Baizel, Earthworks energy program director, according to Reuters. “If this place in the heart of the oil and gas industry can’t live with fracking, then who can?”
Denton, a city of 123,000 people, is within the Barnett shale formation, where fracking was first developed. Polls showed the measure to ban fracking passed with 58 percent support out of the 25,376 ballots cast.
According to Reuters, fracking opponents in Denton said drilling operations near residential areas are often noisy, can dominate local water supplies, and cause high traffic on nearby roads.
Fracking supporters in the energy industry vowed to fight the ban.
“It’s essentially a ban on all drilling,” said EdIreland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, an energy industry mouthpiece. “No one would try to drill a well if they can’t frack it, and that will unleash a torrent of lawsuits.”
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