Texas Town Known as ‘The Birthplace of Fracking’ Passes Ban on Controversial Process Loved by Big Oil

denton-frackingDespite all the bad news coming from election night, there was some good news for liberals or pretty much anyone who wants to protect the environment. Voters in Denton, Texas, the place where fracking was invented, voted to ban the process that many claim is extremely harmful to the environment.


Over 25K votes were cast, with 58 percent of citizens favoring the ban on fracking in Denton – even though pro-fracking groups outspent anti-fracking groups 10 to 1.

It baffles me that there’s even a “debate” on fracking. The evidence against it is overwhelming.

There have been numerous accounts where people have been able to set their drinking water on fire and drastic increases in earthquake activity in and around areas where fracking is taking place. Common sense would dictate that evidence such as that pretty much proves that this process favored by big oil companies isn’t a safe method for extracting oil or natural gas.

Of course, big oil disagrees with the facts and evidence.

“It’s essentially a ban on all drilling,” said Ed Ireland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council. “No one would try to drill a well if they can’t frack it, and that will unleash a torrent of lawsuits.”

In other words, oil companies found a cheaper new way to get oil and natural gas and they don’t care if it screws up the planet. What this ban does is prevent them from using this cheaper, yet far more dangerous, method of extraction – and they don’t like that one bit.

This is my argument against these foolish climate change deniers. The oil industry is probably one of – if not the – most corrupt industries on the planet. All over the world they spend countless sums of money to discredit anything that says fossil fuels are dangerous and harming the planet. If the world suddenly woke up tomorrow and said, “No more fossil fuels, we want solar and wind energy,” big oil would lose hundreds of billions of dollars.


But, hey, fracking is safe, right? Just ask Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. He had no problem with fracking rigs being set up near his home in Bartonville, Texas, which is a town fairly close to Denton.

Oh, wait, yes he did. In fact, he joined a lawsuit earlier this year to keep fracking away from his neighborhood.

The best creative writers in the world couldn’t write better hypocrisy and irony than that.

Let’s just hope this is the first victory of many for the anti-fracking movement. It’s clear that despite all the propaganda coming from big oil, fracking is dangerous and shouldn’t be legal – especially in close proximity to where people live.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • TaxPaying American Voter

    They are already being sued by the oil companies. Do you think the average persons rights supercedes big oil? Comments:

    • Steve Brains

      Bush had amended the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to ELIMINATE liability for energy companies. They can pollute all the private land and municipal water supplies they want AND NEVER have to clean it up NOR make restitution.

      Obama FAILED America for NOT revoking the DEADLY Bush Executive order. Which BTW, was most likely UNCONSTITUTIONAL as it involves funding for Government Agencies.

    • Bah

      is this ignoring the rights of the property owners? The oil companies are required to have everyone with in 600 yards to be in agreement for the fracking to happen, and there are property owners that are pooled into a leasing unit. Many of these people purchased their property knowing they had the mineral rights. Is this a violation of their private property rights? I’m really not sure.
      Cities are also allowed to regulate industries for public health. Texas is a limited “home rule” state. The population has to exceed 5,000, for the city to pass laws and regulations as long as they are not violating the state and federal constitution. The railroad commission claims they have the right to set regulations since they do have jurisdiction over all oil and gas wells in the state.
      The problem for the oil companies is that Denton didn’t say no drilling or any other possible new methods, Denton said no fracking in a landslide victory. This case will set a precedent for the rest of Texas.
      I think the oil companies should just give this one up. If they lose they set a terrible precedent on themselves.
      Isn’t this America at its best? Right here we see the people being opposed to top down centralization of regulations and power.
      Another question is, will the current companies operating in Denton be allowed to return to their previous wells?

  • Charles Vincent

    What Evidence is overwhelming? Did you get a sneek peek at the EPA study that isnt finished yet?

    Furthermore the man that invented the process was from Titusville Pennsylvania.

    ““Our business since Colonel Roberts’ day has concerned lowering high explosives charges into oil wells in the Appalachian area to blast fractures into the oil bearing sand,” says Tallini. His company is based in Titusville – where the American petroleum industry began on August 27, 1859.”

    courtesy of http://aoghs DOT org/technology/hydraulic-fracturing/

    • Steve Brains

      The Reports that SHOULD have come from the EPA and DOE, but instead were fabricated by Bush’s ex Enron and other energy whorefriends.

    • christianh

      There are two types of fracking… Vertical and horizontal… Horizontal fracking is new and actually more dangerous to ground water…

      • Charles Vincent

        I am going to take a stab in the dark and say you’ve never worked in or around the oilfield. Because if you had you would know that the process for fracking is the same in both the cases you mentioned.
        More importantly it isn’t new; “Many prerequisites enabled this suite of technologies to become productive. Probably, the first requirement was the realization that oil wells, or water wells,are not necessarily vertical. This realization was quite slow, and did not really grasp the attention of the oil industry until the late 1920s when there were several lawsuits alleging that wells drilled from a rig on one property had crossed the boundary and were penetrating a reservoir on an adjacent property.”

  • OpenMinded

    This is good news indeed, during such an abysmal election. At least progressive policies in many parts of the country took big steps forward.

  • ReeFungorio

    Wow Allen Clinton sure doesn’t have a problem with lying, stretching the truth, or twisting reality to look how he wants it. You’d think such a strong and smart political stance wouldn’t need to make up lies about every single thing you stand for. You’d also think someone with a degree in Political Science would have some kind of clue as to how politics works.