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Denton Leaders Could Vote To Ban Fracking

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Elizabeth Dinh
Elizabeth joined CBS 11 News from Seattle's KOMO-TV in December 2...
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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) - One area in North Texas could make history on Tuesday night. Members of the Denton City Council could vote to ban fracking within city limits. The move would likely have a statewide impact.

Arguments have already started coming out on both sides of this controversial issue. Some say that, if the city council approves the ban, it would hurt the area’s economy. But others believe that the fracking ban would make room for other businesses to grow and thrive in Denton.

In a report released on Monday, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce — not Denton — commissioned an economic research firm to study what kind of impact the ban would have across the state. It found that the City of Denton would lose more than $250 million in business over the next decade. Meanwhile, the rest of Denton County and other parts of Texas could suffer an additional loss of $100 million.

The study said that a fracking ban would cause “significant economic and fiscal harm.”

“It has an impact on the state budget,” stated Ed Ireland of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council. “The City of Denton is not isolated from what goes on beyond its borders.”

However, there is at least one Denton City Council member who believes that the ban would be a good thing, by making Denton an environment friendly area, ready to welcome young professionals and possibly make room for tech industry jobs. “If we stop fracking tomorrow, our economy is not going to implode,” said Denton City Council member Kevin Roden.

The city council will discuss the fracking ban on Tuesday night. Council members will either approve the ordinance, dismiss it or let voters make the final decision by putting it on the November ballot.

“This was a very hot topic,” said Denton Mayor Chris Watts. “The petition itself was ongoing. They were collecting signatures and my position on that was, since this was a citizen-led initiative, and the ordinance is citizen-led, then I personally said on the campaign trail, and still maintain it, I think it probably should be something that goes to the voters.”

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