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Grassroots activists seek to regain local control over oil and gas drilling

May 18, 2017

Star-Telegram,

Max B. Baker,

May 18, 2017-

Sometimes it takes a little plant food to get a grassroots network to grow. Two years ago, after Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 40 limiting local control over oil and gas activity, activists pledged to form what they called the Texas Grassroots Network to monitor the energy industry and find ways to influence public policy — locally and statewide.

Well, the idea didn’t take root, mostly because the drop in drilling activity made it hard to get people interested, said Sharon Wilson, regional organizer for Earthworks, an environmental advocacy group. They couldn’t even get things together in time for the current Texas legislative session, which is scheduled to wrap up at the end of the month, she said. As a result, two bills backed by activists didn’t make it very far, Wilson said.

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