DENTON — Wonder why everyone in Denton was rubbing their eyes Wednesday? Well, ask the 500 people who attended Tuesday’s City Council meeting — they were there until almost 3 a.m. Yep, eight fun-filled hours of public comments about fracking.
There were plenty of folk who want it banned inside city limits; right now, there are 275 active wells — and some are practically in folks’ backyards.
Maile Bush lives near two sites that were fracked earlier this year. “I can tell you about how it is dirty, and loud, and smelly, and scary, but you really can’t truly understand it until you live it. It’s a nightmare. Since the fracking started, my children have had headaches, coughing, and nosebleeds,” Bush said.
And 11-year-old Riley Briggs stayed up waaaay past his bedtime. “Ban fracking. Save our city. Save our state. Save our country. Help save the world,” is Riley’s battle cry.
But not everyone was anti-fracking, like Randy Sorrels of the Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy. “There are many of us in Denton who support reasonable and responsible drilling regulations, instead of a drilling ban,” Sorrells said.
Finally, it was time to vote and the council decided 5-2 against the ban. So now, it will be up to the voters to decide in November.
“This isn’t going to be a citizen vote; this is going to be national politics. It’s Denton, with the funding of the industry. That’s not an even playing field, that’s David vs. Goliath, so if we really want a fair vote, I’m not sure we’re going to get it,” City Council member Kevin Roden said.
Well, one thing we know for sure: This whole thing is taking too fracking long.
Denton, TX– The Denton Drilling Awareness Group is heated up about fracking. That’s when you drill sideways for natural gas. It’s happening close to home for some folks in Denton.
“It’s a lot of chemicals and toxins that are released into the environment, and that’s what we’re concerned about…It has no respect for people’s property rights,” Vice President of DAG Adam Briggle said.
The fracking frazzled them so much, they circulated a petition, got hundreds of signatures, and are asking the city council to ban it.
“Frack Free Denton is a campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. It’s true that Denton has so much positive going for it now, and the fracking that’s been allowed to happen is this one thing that’s just dragging us down,” Briggle added.
Now, it’s up to the council to approve a ban, or let the voters decide in November. Companies say it’s safe and efficient, but with neighborhoods next to these sites, this dad says, it’s personal.
“I have two daughters, and we moved here when this issue was becoming really hot and controversial,” Briggle said. “We moved intentionally far away from these sites because we didn`t want to be affected by it, but other people don’t have that choice. Most people are excited to kick it out of town.”
Who knows? Perhaps Denton will give it the fracking boot.