Let’s fight preemption of local control
Luke Fuszard, Tribune News Service, 1/15/2020
Four years ago, the residents of Denton, Texas, took extraordinary action. In a state known for its ties to oil and gas production, Denton voters overwhelmingly passed a resolution banning the process for extracting natural gas known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” within city limits.
Neighbors had been complaining about noise and toxic fumes from the nearby drilling sites for years. Finally, a group of concerned activists rose up and scored a major victory for public health.
Sadly, their victory was short-lived.
Five months later, after intense lobbying from the oil and gas industry, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill prohibiting all Texas towns from passing oil and gas regulations, thus nullifying the city referendum. Today, drilling within the city is fully operational and takes place near many of Denton’s public parks and hospitals. [Emphasis added]