Denton, Texas could become the first city in the state to ban hydraulic fracturing.
Leaders in the North Texas city heard from citizens at a hearing Tuesday about a grassroots petition to outlaw the drilling method.
The Denton City Council took up a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing during its regular meeting Tuesday night, including requiring speakers to register in advance.
The council didn’t adopt the measure, voting 5-2 against it.
But the proposed ban will be on a city-wide ballot in November.
Outgoing Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman wrote a letter to Mayor Chris Watts and the City Council on Friday urging them not to approve the ban, calling oil and gas drilling a pillar of the Texas economy.
Denton’s city charter required the council to hold a public hearing on an initiative petition before taking a vote on the matter.
“A group of Denton residents organized the initiative in the spring, delivering the signatures of nearly 2,000 registered voters supporting the ban,” the Denton Record said.
If the ban is passed, Denton would be the first city in Texas to ban fracking inside its city limits.
A Colorado-based group has been circulating a competing petition that supports fracking.