North Texas city rejects partial fracking ban - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

North Texas city rejects partial fracking ban

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Biden among Urban League meeting speakers in Ohio

    Biden among Urban League meeting speakers in Ohio

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:40 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:40:28 GMT
    National Urban League leaders will focus on jobs and pay in U.S. cities during a conference this week that will draw some top Democratic and Republican politicians courting minority support.More >>
    National Urban League leaders will focus on jobs and pay in U.S. cities during a conference this week that will draw some top Democratic and Republican politicians courting minority support.More >>
  • Opening statements set in porch shooting trial

    Opening statements set in porch shooting trial

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:30 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:30:47 GMT
    After two days of jury selection, lawyers are poised to give opening statements in the trial of a Detroit-area man who opened his front door and shot an unarmed woman, killing her.More >>
    After two days of jury selection, lawyers are poised to give opening statements in the trial of a Detroit-area man who opened his front door and shot an unarmed woman, killing her.More >>
  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:22 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:22:35 GMT
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a...More >>
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,...More >>
By EMILY SCHMALL
Associated Press

DENTON, Texas (AP) - The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve rejected a bid early Wednesday that would have made it the first city in the state to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community.

Denton City Council members voted down the petition 5-2 after eight hours of public testimony, sending the proposal to a public ballot in November.

Fracking involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to release trapped oil and gas. While the method has long stirred concerns about its effects on the environment and human health, industry proponents argue that fracking can be done safely and is cleaner than other forms of energy extraction.

Industry groups and state regulators warned such a ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to Denton's economy.

Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Railroad Commission, the Texas oil and gas regulator, said in a letter addressed to Denton's mayor and city council last week that a fracking ban in Denton would "increase America's dependence" on foreign oil and natural gas.

Tom Phillips, a former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, representing the powerful Texas Oil and Gas Association, testified that some of its thousands of members would "undoubtedly sue" if the ban eventually passed.

But organizers of the citizen-led petition that - with about 1,900 voter signatures - forced the council to Wednesday's vote, said they proposed the ban as a last resort after fracking operators defied city rules, particularly ones governing setbacks and flarings.

"If the industry had approached anything near reasonableness" in accepting the rules, activists would not have demanded the ban, said Sharon Wilson of the environmental nonprofit Earthworks.

In making a motion to approve the ban, Councilman Kevin Roden argued the "bold move" would force industry to come up with solutions to satisfy citizens' concerns. The motion, however, was not seconded.

The threats of litigation appeared to color how some of the Denton council members voted. Councilman Greg Johnson voiced concerns that lawsuits from the state and from mineral holders could bankrupt the city.

An estimated 500 people turned out to Denton City Hall Tuesday, spilling over into satellite rooms and even a city building across the street. More than 100 people registered to speak during the hearing before the vote.

Among them was Riley Briggs, an 11-year-old Boy Scout, who said he no longer visited a city park after gas wells were installed across the street.

Other petition supporters, some who tearfully addressed the council, said the risks to human health and the environment outweigh the economic benefits.

Denton sits on the Barnett Shale, which is believed to hold one of the largest natural gas reserves in the U.S.

City leaders introduced a temporary ban on new fracking permits in May after fracking-ban proponents delivered a petition containing about 2,000 signatures.

The temporary ban is set to expire in September.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:22 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:22:35 GMT
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a...More >>
    Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new,...More >>
  • SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

    SEC poised to end $1 a share for some money funds

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:10 AM EDT2014-07-23 05:10:56 GMT
    Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry - the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds - at least for some money funds used by big investors.More >>
    Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry - the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds - at least for some money funds used by big investors.More >>
  • US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:33:53 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More >>
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

News Channel 25 KXXV-TV
P.O. Box 2522
Waco, TX 76702

Phone Numbers:
Main: 254-754-2525
Tip Line: 254-757-2525

Links
Contact Us
KXXV Employment Opportunites
FCC Filings
Advertise on KXXV

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXXV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.