Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation yesterday that prohibits cities and towns in his state from banning fracking, Common Dreams reported. The power to restrict oil and gas operations will now lie solely with the state, and since it’s Texas, those restrictions will probably be non-existent.
“This law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city,” Gov. Abbot said in a statement.
This bill was really passed not to keep regulations uniform, but to keep Texas cities in line with the Big-Oil funded GOP’s plans.
In last year’s election, Denton residents overwhelmingly supported a fracking ban and passed a resolution prohibiting it within the community. While the fight between the city and the fossil fuel industry made its way through the courts, the state government took matters into its own hands and passed this bill to override Denton’s ban.
“[This law] was written by the oil and gas industry, for the oil and gas industry, to prevent voters from holding the oil and gas industry accountable for its impacts,” Sharon Wilson of Earthworks said in a statement.
“It was the oil and gas industry’s contempt for impacted residents that pushed Denton voters to ban fracking in the first place. And now the oil and gas industry, through state lawmakers, has doubled down by showing every city in Texas that same contempt.”
According to Common Dreams, Denton is not giving up, and members of its legal team and supporters of the ban plan to “regroup and fight back against this legislative overreach.”
While it’s not at all surprising that Texas Republicans put the wants and needs of the fossil fuel industry over the health and safety of the state’s residents, it is depressing. This is just another example of the GOP bowing down to corporations that fund their campaigns.