Even before voters in Denton passed a measure that made their city the first in the state to ban fracking, state lawmakers were talking about filing legislation to block the ban. On Monday, more than four months after the Denton vote, a House committee discussed two bills that would derail local efforts to curb fracking. House Bill 40 would generally block cities from regulating oil and gas activity, and House Bill 539 would make cities and municipalities that do ban fracking pay for it—literally.
These are the stories of three families who were willing to walk away from thousands of dollars—and battle loved ones, their communities and their government—to make a stand against Big Oil in Texas, even when facing insurmountable odds.
Protesters outside Houston’s Shell Oil refinery, who belong to the United Steelworkers union, are participating in the first major U.S. oil strike since 1980, one that has centered on the huge oil industry in Texas.
Earlier this month, the residents of Denton, Texas—located on one of the country’s largest natural gas reserves and home to some 275 gas wells—voted to ban fracking. The ban was a first for a city in Texas, where fracking has enabled an oil and gas boom; the state now accounts for one-third of the United States’ natural gas production. In this period of boom and blowback, the state agencies that regulate the oil and gas industry here are perhaps more important than ever—and, according to frustrated reporters, increasingly impenetrable.
Original article appeared in The Texas Observer: One day in August 2013, Alyse Ogletree was turning onto her street in a new, unfinished development in Denton when she saw […]
In the latest iteration of a Texas public official denying the negative effects of harmful pollutants on people and the environment, the state’s chief toxicologist, Dr. Michael Honeycutt, said that since people spend most of their time indoors there’s no reason to be concerned about dangerous levels of ozone, a pollutant that contributes to the formation of smog.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE APPEARED IN TEXASOBSERVER.ORG Energy companies have been injecting diesel underground during fracking operations—without permits to do so—in a dozen states including Texas, according to a new report from […]