Could fracking ban come to towns on Eagle Ford Shale?

Denton residents start discussion on fracking bans


SAN ANTONIO – On Nov. 4, residents of Denton, Texas, voted to outlaw fracking. The decision was immediately challenged by oil companies and the state. 

"It's certainly unusual for Texas," said St. Mary's University oil and gas law professor Laura Burney. "It's the first Texas city that's gone that far."

The referendum made fracking a criminal activity within Denton city limits. The decision, however, is sitting on shaky legal ground.

"Cities can regulate, but if the regulation goes too far to take away all economical viable use of the property, then it's not going to be valid," said Burney.

In fact, the state believes there is already enough regulation, with no need for cities to step in. Still, fracking, in some people's minds, is a bad word; whether it is because of noise or potential environmental issues.

"Fracking has become a cause and a concern," said Burney.

There is no fracking inside San Antonio city limits, because the city does not sit on a play. However, the question remains: Could cities on the Eagle Ford Shale consider imposing such a ban?

"They'd face the same issue," said Burney. "Would the city be pre-empting the job of the Railroad Commission?"

So far, there has been no mention or indication that any cities on the Eagle Ford Shale would opt for such a ban. However, we did pose the question on Facebook and these are just two of the many comments that we received:

James Cox:

"As an oilfield worker, I say frack on!!! Most of you who say "no" don't even know anything about how a well is made. You might want to do some research."

Manuel Martinez:

"Aren't they getting what they want from the rural parts of the state? Why bother coming into our beautiful city to deface it? [It] also ruins our roads and streets. No, please don't let it happen."

We have received plenty of comments on both sides of the issue of fracking and if you would like to join the conversation, click here to visit our Facebook page.

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