The measure, supported by 59 percent of voters Tuesday, bars hydraulic fracturing — a process in which water, sand and chemicals are pumped under high pressure to crack open the Barnett Shale deposits that have fueled much of the Texas oil and gas boom.
Advocates of the statute complained that fracking pollutes the air, reduces nearby property values and could increase earthquakes.
The oil and gas association, however, asked a state district court in Denton County to overturn the regulation, arguing that it intrudes on powers reserved for the Legislature and state agencies, including the Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“By imposing a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing on oil and gas leases within its city limits, the City of Denton undermines this comprehensive state system regulating oil and gas development,” said the lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning.
A ban on fracking, the only economical way to extract gas from the Barnett Shale, “will result in the total inability to develop hydrocarbon interests within the city,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson argued that the law violates the Texas Constitution, which prohibits city statutes that are in conflict with state law.Read full article