Fracking Ban Vote Looms Over Denton Election

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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP)Tensions are mounting as big oil and gas companies and anti-fracking activists try to sway voters ahead of a Tuesday referendum that would make Denton the first Texas city to ban the drilling practice.

The citizen-led measure would ban the city from issuing new hydraulic fracturing permits. Preexisting permits would remain valid. Opponents decry the initiative as an attempt to ban all drilling.

State regulators and industry groups have said the move would be followed by litigation and a hit to the economy of Denton, which sits upon large natural gas reserves.

The treasurer of the political action committee supporting the ban, Ed Soph, calls it a “David versus Goliath issue.”

According to October 27 campaign finance reports, the ban’s opponents have raised $466,000 compared to the supporters’ $24,000.

A City of Denton spokeswoman told CBS 11 News that if a ban passes, it would go into effect as soon as the city council ratifies the election unless there is a legal challenge.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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