Elida Tamez finds lessons in patience and humility, from cancer to frack fight

Nothing about the shiny surface of Elida Tamez’s life suggests she would have been an environmental activist. Even after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, she got a second lease on life that turned out to be a long and happy one.


Elida Tamez moved to act

The sun had begun warming another hazy June sky when Elida Tamez saw a semi-tractor truck starting down Nail Road. She looked for her friends by a cluster of mailboxes that serves a small neighborhood...

Lake drilling rights not on auction block

Land under Lewisville Lake won’t be auctioned off for oil and gas drilling after all — at least for now.

Curbs on methane expected

Environmentalists and the oil and gas industry, longtime adversaries, expect new rules for reducing methane emissions to be proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the coming weeks. The question is whether the new rules could ultimately bring relief to polluted North Texas skies.

Deal will open up land for houses

Energy companies have tentatively agreed to limit their use of land on the city’s south side so that a residential developer can build and sell houses there.

Police make arrest at fracking site

Denton police made another arrest at the fracking site on Nail Road during "Frack Free Friday" protests this morning.

Two arrested at a gas well site

Denton police took a Denton man and his 92-year-old mother into custody early Tuesday morning after the man chained himself to the entrance gate at a gas well site in far western Denton.

Protest at well site ends without incident

Residents from a nearby mobile home community joined about 40 other protesters Friday morning outside the Vantage Energy “Long Term” well site at Nail Road in far west Denton.


Council drops repeal of fracking ban

The Denton City Council walked away from repealing the city’s 7-month-old ban on hydraulic fracturing early Wednesday morning, after more than four hours of public testimony and two hours of deliberation.


Residents ask city to hold off

Speaker after speaker asked the Denton City Council on Tuesday night to postpone repealing the city’s ban on hydraulic fracturing, saying the action was too drastic. The community needs more information and time to respond, they said.

Three more arrested at gas well site

Denton police arrested three more people for criminal trespass during the second day of protests at a Denton gas well site where an energy company has resumed hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking protesters arrested

Three Denton residents could face criminal trespassing charges after they were arrested early Monday morning in front of the entry to a gas well site on the city’s west side. Adam Briggle, 38, Niki Chochrek, 24, and Tara Linn Hunter, 31, were released from Denton City Jail on personal bonds after being detained for about three hours Monday morning.


Crowd in control

Walter Lindrose came to a political rally outside Denton City Hall on Sunday afternoon looking for answers.

City Council poised to repeal fracking ban

The Denton City Council could soon repeal the seven-month-old initiative that banned hydraulic fracturing in the city limits.


Fracking battle in Texas not over

The fight over fracking in Texas cities is continuing. Anti-fracking activists are searching for a legal strategy to challenge the constitutionality of a new state law that appears to overturn the frack ban that Denton voters passed last November.


Vantage to get back to fracking

A Colorado energy company told city officials it plans to frack gas wells on Denton’s west side in a notice that came only one day after the governor signed House Bill 40 into law.

Well fire sparks talk at council work session

Denton fire officials presented their analysis of a gas well fire during the City Council work session on Tuesday, raising more questions about the city’s capability to handle such fires.

Well fire rouses neighbors

Residents along West Windsor Drive in northwest Denton were still shaken Friday by a fire and explosion at a natural gas well site in their neighborhood during severe weather Thursday night.

Denton gas well fire

A gas well on the Payne lease, operated by Vantage Energy, burns during a thunderstorm after severe weather and lightning moved across North Texas.


HB 40 signed into law

Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law Monday afternoon in Austin, putting unprecedented restrictions on the ability of cities and other local governments to regulate the oil and gas industry. Abbott said Texas could avoid a patchwork quilt of local regulations with the new law.

Bill targeting frack ban passes

AUSTIN — Senators delivered a sweeping victory Monday to oil and gas operators in a fight that has roiled North Texas and pitted a key state industry against communities’ desire to restrict fracking.

HB 40 sparks three petitions

Fast-moving House Bill 40 has spurred an environmental group to petition the Texas Railroad Commission to start rule-making while city officials continued in the slow lane with new local rules for oil and gas operators this week.

HB 40 headed to House

AUSTIN — The Texas Energy Resources Committee overwhelmingly approved a bill that would restrict cities from regulating certain aspects of oil and gas, including adopting hydraulic fracturing bans like Denton’s.

Judge assigned to industry lawsuit against fracking ban

An administrative judge has assigned the industry’s lawsuit against Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing to Denton District Judge Sherry Shipman, court records show.

$500,000 spent trying to turn tide just before vote

Energy industry supporters spent more than $500,000 in the final days of an unsuccessful $1.1 million campaign to defeat Denton’s ban on fracking, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.


Abbott: Texas being ‘Californiaized’

AUSTIN — Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took aim Thursday at the growing list of local regulatory ordinances in Texas that do such things as restrict the use of plastic shopping bags, ban fracking for oil and gas and limit what homeowners can do with trees on their property.

Proposed bill would curb oil, gas rules

AUSTIN — A Republican in the Texas House proposed a bill Wednesday that would require cities to make up for any revenue lost as a result of passing a municipal oil and gas ordinance — a requirement that could dissuade cash-strapped cities from considering or approving some local regulations.

Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe: Closure ties up public info

We work hard to bring you the news when it happens. We recognize both the importance and the value of telling you what we know as soon as we know it — not the next day or the day after that.


More time for drilling changes

About 30 people turned out for a public hearing Tuesday night, giving about an hour of testimony on the city’s innovative amendments to the gas well ordinance and asking for more time to review it.

Meeting explores drilling changes

Questions from the audience Monday night focused primarily on two new programs the city has proposed in amending its gas well ordinance, beefed-up inspections and “co-locations” for pad sites.

City to outline changes to drilling rules

City leaders plan several tough amendments to the rules that govern natural gas drilling and production in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction by the time its moratorium on new permits expires in January.

Drilling rules to be reworked

Denton City Council members have said little publicly about the latest rewrites to rules for natural gas development since adopting a moratorium on new permits earlier this year. During the council’s work session Tuesday afternoon, City Attorney Anita Burgess called the latest drafts “complicated.”

Study of fertility risks sought

Researchers reviewed a number of recent studies of hydraulic fracturing against what is known about reproductive health and found increased risk to both men’s and women’s fertility, fetal development and to the incidence of birth defects.

Groups file to join city in courtroom

Local activists and a national advocacy group filed motions in court Thursday to join the city of Denton in defending its ban on hydraulic fracturing.

City answers fracking ban lawsuits

The city of Denton has answered lawsuits from the state and from the oil and gas industry challenging its ban on hydraulic fracturing, calling the process a public nuisance and one that subverts public order. The city also asked for a change of venue in the state’s case against the ban.


Fracking battle spreads

RENO, Texas — A Texas hamlet shaken by its first recorded earthquake last year and hundreds since then is among communities now taking steps to challenge the oil and gas industry’s traditional supremacy over the right to frack.

New report looks at fracking amid drought

Hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells threatens America’s water supplies in drought-stricken areas, according to a report released Tuesday by the Environmental Working Group.

Further fallout follows ban

Fallout continued at the state level over the landslide vote Tuesday that banned hydraulic fracturing in Denton city limits. During a media event sponsored by the Texas Tribune on Thursday morning in Austin, Christi Craddick, chairwoman of the Texas Railroad Commission, called the vote a disappointment.

For the DRC

Uncommon tactics

In the emotionally charged run-up to their lopsided victory on Tuesday, political organizers for Frack Free Denton and their allies employed some weird weaponry against their well-financed oil and gas industry adversaries.

Lawsuits follow fracking outcome

Both the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Oil and Gas Association sued the city of Denton on Wednesday in two separate actions that challenge the city’s new ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing.


Fracking banned

Denton became the first Texas city to ban hydraulic fracturing Tuesday after a citizen-driven proposition cruised to a landslide victory at the polls. Final returns showed the fracking ban passing by a whopping 59-41 percent margin all night long. While dozens of cities in New York and elsewhere have banned fracking, Texas is oil and gas country. So Denton’s proposition over the rights of a Texas city to police what happens within its borders pushed it into the national spotlight.

On Calif. coast, fracking on ballot

SAN FRANCISCO — Voters in three coastal California counties vote Tuesday on whether to ban fracking and other intensive oil production, even as slumping prices globally are leading companies to start to scale back on production.

TWU shies from frack involvement

Texas Woman’s University officials distanced themselves Wednesday from a paid political advertisement sent to Denton voters about the proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city.


Ban’s foes far outspend proponents

The record books will likely stay inked for a while: A proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city has spurred more than $772,000 in political donations, the most expensive campaign in Denton’s history.


Frack check

Mailers, fliers and door hangers about the proposition to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city limits have papered Denton homes in recent weeks.


‘Hot under the collar’

Residents have complained about a full-page color ad on the back page of Wednesday’s Denton Record-Chronicle, saying they did not give permission for their names to be used in a political ad.

Fracturing forum set for Tuesday

The Denton County Republican Party and the Denton County Democratic Party will co-host a public forum on the issue of hydraulic fracturing from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Denton County Elections Administration office, 701 Kimberly Drive, Suite A101, in Denton.

Fracking debate draws cash

The first round of campaign finance reports show the proposition against hydraulic fracturing inside the city is already the most expensive campaign in Denton’s history, with both sides vying for the right to call themselves “grass roots.”

The Dallas Morning News

After years of challenges from both sides, fracking issue goes to vote

AUSTIN — Denton residents, concerned about air quality, noise and potential water contamination, may be the first in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing — but if they do, state lawmakers will likely push back.

Study: Casing, cement at fault

Groundwater contamination near North Texas shale gas wells could be caused by a faulty casing or poor cement construction surrounding the casing, according to a new study published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.