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.

Chamber: Vote no to fracking ban

The Denton Chamber of Commerce has formally recommended that its employees and members vote against a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing that will appear on the city’s Nov. 4 general election ballot.


Driller gets waiver for wells

A Colorado energy company claimed the city of Denton’s moratorium on new gas wells has caused it hardship and received a waiver this week to drill five gas wells on land owned by a former Dallas Cowboy.

Inactive well to be plugged at TWU

After sitting unused for more than 10 years, the sole gas well at Texas Woman’s University will be plugged and capped this month.

Land commissioner weighs in on ban

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson believes Denton’s proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing would cost the children of Texas.Patterson wrote a letter to Mayor Chris Watts objecting to the ban prior...

Voters to decide ban issue

Residents will be heading to the polls in November to decide the fate of a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Denton city limits.

Council expects overflow crowd at fracking hearing

Registration opened at 1 p.m. today for residents who want to address the City Council about a proposed citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Issue may pack City Hall

Denton has become ground zero in Texas in the fight over hydraulic fracturing. A local and long-simmering fight over the effects of fracking on Denton neighborhoods is morphing into a statewide battleground over a city’s right to police what happens within its boundaries.

Petition seeks fracking support

Another petition is circulating in Denton, this time to support hydraulic fracturing.


Cities eye New York fracking ruling

The top court in the state of New York affirmed the rights of cities to ban hydraulic fracturing, in a much-watched case nationwide.

Fracking foes turn to cities

Denton residents who oppose hydraulic fracturing are not alone in their attempt to ban it inside the city limits.

Water Woes: Drawn away

MONTAGUE COUNTY — Tank trucks carrying groundwater thunder by on a nearby highway as Terry Fender sheds his hat, wipes his brow and kneels to record the water level of a well bordered by cracked cement in northern Montague County.

Group seeks ban on fracking

A newly formed group of residents seeking a ban on hydraulic fracturing will begin collecting signatures this week on a petition to force a ballot initiative in Denton.

Error delays gas code hearing

Residents bailed on a public hearing Tuesday night after learning that the city would take no action on a change to the gas well development code.


Fracking dispute erupts at City Hall

Angry residents filled the seats and lined the walls at City Hall on Tuesday night, calling again for a drilling moratorium and for EagleRidge Energy’s old permit to be revoked.

State predicts air will improve

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has predicted a dramatic drop in North Texas ozone levels over the next three years, according to a preliminary model of air quality from now through 2018. But will it happen? The agency doesn’t have a good track record with predictions.

Denton pulls suit, weighs options

Less than a week after filing suit against EagleRidge Energy, the city of Denton withdrew its petition to shut down some of the company’s operations near the intersection of Bonnie Brae Street and Vintage Boulevard.


City of Denton sues over wells

The city of Denton filed suit Friday against EagleRidge Operating LLC and EagleRidge Energy LLC, claiming that two wells they are drilling near Bonnie Brae Street and Vintage Boulevard violate city ordinances.

Few answers in April gas well blowout

After three months of reflection and several government reports, key questions remain unanswered following a gas well blowout on April 19 near homes, businesses and Denton Enterprise Airport, including why it took hours for anyone to call either 911 or state regulators.

Denton responders work gas well pipe emergency

A Denton hazardous materials unit was on site for nearly five hours in the 600 block of Jim Christal Road after a gas well pipe separated from the well Friday morning, authorities said.

City approves drilling ordinance

Residents say they are deflated and disappointed after the Denton City Council finally approved, in a 5-1 vote, new rules for natural gas drilling and production that have been years in the making.

Gap over gas rule rewrite widens

After another round of meetings this week — public, private and behind closed doors — the chasm between city leaders and residents over rewrites to the gas drilling ordinance appears to have widened considerably. The City Council appeared satisfied with the rewrites during a work session last Tuesday, giving little feedback to the staff on the fifth draft other than to ask how to best explain the final product to residents.

City gas rules topic of concern

Frustrated residents brought another hour of earnest testimony to a public hearing on the gas ordinance rewrites this week.

Guidance on gas rules costs city

Since 2011, Denton has spent more than $43,000 on consultants in reviewing the city’s natural gas ordinance, with the potential for thousands more to be spent before the work is done.