By John Upton
The growing wave of local fracking bans is sweeping into Texas, where the state’s third largest city has put a near-total kibosh on the practice.
The Dallas City Council adopted new rules on Wednesday that bar hydraulic fracturing within 1,500 feet of a home, school, church, or well. Dallas is now the largest of five Texan cities and towns that have imposed local restrictions on fracking. The city, which sits at the edge of the gas-rich Barnett Shale area, had previously imposed a safety buffer of 300 feet and banned fracking in parks and flood plains.
Because Dallas contains more than a half million homes, the new rule effectively outlaws fracking through most of the city. “[W]e might as well save a lot of paper and write a one-line ordinance that says there will be no gas drilling in the city of Dallas,” quipped a council member who voted against the new rules. “That would be a much easier ordinance to have.”
A gas company representative agreed: “You just can’t drill under these conditions,” he said. Naturally, industry folks are warning that economic woe will ravage Dallas in the wake of the vote.