Two weeks after Denton’s fracking ban was rendered illegal by a sweeping new state law restricting local control of oil-and-gas activities, residents of the north Texas town are frustrated, upset and conflicted about how best to respond.
Emotions were on display at this week’s Denton City Council meeting, where more than 30 people weighed in on whether the city should repeal the ban. Following the public’s advice, the seven-member council decided against repealing the ban—for now—after more than five hours of testimony and discussion.
“Fracking is happening right now in our community, again, and it’s pretty clear that in our community, people do not want fracking to happen,” said Ron Seifert, a Denton resident and environmental activist, to the council. “So my question is: What is the city prepared to do to follow through with the will of the people here?”
This isn’t an easy question to answer. That’s because Denton is wading into new territory in the anti-fracking fight.