The Denton City Council is expected on July 15 to review an application to ban fracking within the city boundaries. The hearing starts on a solid ground given the fact that Texas laws allow cities to draft laws that protect the safety and health of their citizens from potential harms caused by oil and gas extraction activities.
However, the state law permits extracting privately-owned resources even inside city boundaries. This means that owners of mineral rights have the right to develop infrastructure to extract and process such minerals, reported Tyler Morning Telegraph.
The Denton case will be keenly monitored by the energy industry and environmentalists due to the fact that the city has allowed several wells to be drilled within its boundaries for many years. So far, there were 270 wells inside the city’s limits, making it harder for the city council to rescind past actions.
While most cities, such as Wichita Falls, Midland, Fort Worth and Odessa, have allowed drilling to go on within the city limits, most of them have enacted laws spelling out the minimum distance the oil wells should be located from the residential areas and regulated noise. Nonetheless, no Texas city has ever stepped forward to announce a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Hence every stakeholder will focus on Denton City Council as it tries to argue that the current laws have failed to sufficiently protect the safety and health of the locals. Energy firms want the council to base its decision on solid science, a decision they said they will scrutinize with a microscope. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org