Emotions Running High Over Denton Fracking Ban Vote

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DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Bobby Jones and his family have owned 82 acres in Denton for decades. Now, he worries if voters approve a ban on fracking in the city, the mineral rights they lease will dry up.

Jones said, “It’s going to take away income from us that we deserve to get.”

He says his property has been fracked twice, and that he and his family still have two active horizontal wells on their property‎. “We’ve owned minerals for 72 years, and we get a chance to develop them and we get to develop them for 11-12 years, then all of a sudden they say, oh no, you can’t do that, there’s something wrong there.”

Cathy McMullen is among those leading the charge for a fracking ban. She says she and her husband moved to Denton in 2006 to get away from fracking wells in Wise County, only to find out she couldn’t.

“We realized they were going to drill within 300 feet of our house. My husband said we could move, but for me, that’s a line in the sand.”

McMullen claims opponents of the ban have tried to mislead voters‎ outside polling places. So she says she’s gone to polling places to explain to voters how the ordinance is worded.

A spokesman for those who support fracking accuse those who favor a ban of being aggressive.

Even at a newly opened polling place on the University of North Texas campus, volunteers say there have been some heated exchanges over the issue.

McMullen says she’s received worse. “We’ve received death threats. I’m scared to sit on my front porch.” Neither she nor Jones thinks about losing.

When asked how mad he would be if voters approve a ban on fracking, Jones didn’t hesitate to answer: “Mad enough to sue.”

A City of Denton spokeswoman says if a ban passes, it would go into effect as soon as the city council ratifies the election unless there is a legal challenge.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

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