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Denton Repeals City Ban on Fracking

The City of Denton repealed its municipal ban on fracking last night weeks after the Texas Legislature passed a law that made Denton's ban unenforceable.
Cooper Neill/Texas Tribune
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The City of Denton repealed its municipal ban on fracking last night weeks after the Texas Legislature passed a law that made Denton's ban unenforceable.

The North Texas City of Denton made headlines last year when voters there banned the oil drilling technique known as fracking. Early this morning, the Denton City Council repealed that unenforceable ban in a move to head off costly future legal battles.

Many Denton City Council members said they had no choice but to repeal the ban. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law earlier this year that takes the power to regulate most drilling activity away from local governments.

The repeal was largely symbolic, as the ordinance was unenforceable due to that new state law. In fact, fracking in the city already restarted this month. But the city was still facing lawsuits from the oil and gas industry since the ban was still on the books. The city council didn’t want to enter into a protracted and expensive legal battle, so it voted to repeal.

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Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5 since 2009, covering local and state issues. Mose has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.