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Anti-Fracking Petition Will Go To Denton Voters in November

Denton’s city council rejected the measure to bar new fracking permits.



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A petition to ban new permits for hydraulic fracturing in the north Texas city of Denton will now go to the city’s voters. That follows a rejection of the measure by the Denton City Council.

The council’s vote followed a long and contentious public hearing. Industry groups and state regulators warned a ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to Denton’s economy. Petition supporters said the risks to human health and the environment outweighed the economic benefits of fracking.

“According to the Denton city charter, if the council rejects a petition, then it automatically goes on the ballot,” says Charles Sartain, an expert on energy and election law at Gray, Reed & McGraw. “And the council voted 5-2 against a permanent ban; therefore, it’ll go on the ballot, I guess, in November.”

Sartain says a decision by Denton voters to bar new fracking permits would be subject to the same court challenges by opponents as if the Denton City Council had approved the ban.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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