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Texas House Approves Rules To Prohibit City Fracking Bans

Cooper Neill
The Texas Tribune

The Texas House passed a bill Friday that would limit cities and counties from regulating hydraulic fracturing within its limits. The oil and gas industry-backed measure was overwhelmingly approved by the House.

The bill comes months after the city of Denton banned local fracking over environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged by lawsuits brought by the state and industry groups.

Republicans say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws from spreading across Texas.

The bill has been among the most contentious in Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's first session. Abbott has stayed clear of the heated debate but has criticized local governments for what he calls over-regulation.

The Senate still needs to vote on the bill before it goes to Abbott's desk.