Texas Prohibits Local Fracking Bans

Newly signed law is one of several across the U.S. to curtail municipal governments’ power

Wall Street Journal, By Russell Gold, May 18

Austin, TX—Last year, a city in North Texas banned fracking. State lawmakers want to make sure that never happens again.

On Monday, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that prohibits bans of hydraulic fracturing altogether and makes it much harder for municipal and county governments to control where oil and gas wells can be drilled. Similar efforts are cropping up in states including New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado and Oklahoma, where both chambers of the legislature have passed a bill that limits local governments to “reasonable” restrictions on oil and gas activities.

This is all part of a broader legislative and judicial effort, backed by the oil industry, to limit local governments’ ability to regulate drilling. Backers say that both the Oklahoma and Texas bills were proposed in response to a voter-approved ban on fracking in Denton, Texas, in November.

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  •    The whole fracking boom is a fraud to begin with, an investment scam that will burst in another financial bubble when there are no more suckers to buy in. .
       That aside, what’s to stop localities from enacting local taxes and fees instead of outright prohibition? A local fee of tens of millions of dollars per well, a heavy tax on production?
       Of course, the scammers would just crank up their bribery to get that banned, but it would delay the process. Maybe by the time it got done, the fracking bubble will have burst. It wouldn’t cost the municipalities much to try and would cost the frackers millions to fight.

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