Texas Ignoring Voters’ Fracking Ban Decision

Last week, despite predominately conservative victories at the polls, we looked at some of the smaller victories that could give liberals hope. At the risk of depressing you all over again, we have an unfortunate update on Denton, Texas, the first place in the state to democratically opt to put an end to fracking within the city: Texas officials are choosing to flagrantly ignore Denton’s vote. Before you give up all hope, please sign this petition telling Texas to abide by Denton’s decision and stop fracking in the city.

As Insurance Journal reports, Christi Craddick, the chief regulator for the oil and gas industries in Texas, has stated in no uncertain terms that she will override the vote and continue with business as usual. “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s. We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job,” said Craddick.

On the flipside, it’s also Craddick’s job to deny permits when warranted. The fact that she believes there’s only one rubber stamp she can use (not to mention her steadfast commitment to blindly using it) goes to show how backwards Texas is when it comes to environmental policies. State officials are standing by non-renewable energy companies no matter what, not “regulating” as their jobs dictate.

Because of its heavy supply of natural gas, Denton has one of the most mined cities in all of Texas. Altogether, corporations have pumped more than $1 billion in gas from underneath Denton. However, as a result of all of the fracking, the residents experienced firsthand the consequences of the destructive process. In addition to the negative health effects, fracking has brought earthquakes, dirtier air and constant noise pollution to the community.

The vote wasn’t too close, either. 59% voted to stop fracking within city limits. That’s an especially high number considering that energy corporations spent more than 30 times more than environmentalists in the campaign leading up to this vote. More money was spent on this campaign than any other in all of Denton’s history, in fact. Nevertheless, having seen the decline in quality of life, most Denton residents were not fooled by the expensive propaganda purchased by those who profit from fracking.

As ThinkProgress points out, the skewed campaign spending makes Craddick’s claims that voters were too “misinformed” on the subject to weigh in even more ludicrous. Denton voters were overwhelmed with messages about the supposed importance and safety of fracking and still saw through it.

The good news is, that if it comes to it, the city of Denton seems prepared to take the matter to court. Lindsey Baker, a spokesperson for the city, has said that the city has $4 million stashed away to fund legal challenges like this one.

Still, they shouldn’t need to go to court in the first place. Sign this Care2 petition addressed to Christi Craddick to tell her to respect the wishes of the Denton voting public. They’re plenty informed on the topic of fracking and have the right to decide it has no place in their community.

Photo Credit: Bosc d'Anjou

122 comments

Jim Ven
Jim V3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

America has a lot of domestic terrorists who have infiltrated governments and corporations. Christi Craddick is a terrorist and must be treated as one.

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John B.
John B4 years ago

Thanks Kevin for the article. The same GOP that complains that the Federal Government ignores the electorate, are the same people who controlled State of Texas and are throwing aside the mandate the town voted on. Action on the petition previously taken:
"John,
you took action on November 11, 2014"
# 58 of 1,033

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Jennifer Hayes
Jennifer H4 years ago

Well, this is from Texas so I was surprised by the vote in the first place. Saying "NO" to an oil/fracking company..unheard of. I was impressed by this town. But now it looks like Big Oil Texas is going to railroad the town to get its way. Keep fighting, Denton. I am sorry your own state sold you out; I hope you have a good medical system in your town.

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Danny Wilson
Danny Wilson4 years ago

This is fracking bad.

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Susan R.
.4 years ago

Thanks

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janet T.
janet t4 years ago

Money or no money, someday people are really going to regret that they have let their water be polluted and left undrinkable. I'm looking forward to being dead at that time.

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Charlie Rush
Charlene Rush4 years ago

All too often, we deserve what we get.

What can they expect with Governor Perry at the helm.

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Janet B.
Janet B4 years ago

Thanks

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Janis K.
Janis K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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