Texas lawmakers have made it clear you don’t mess with Texas when it comes to extracting fossil fuels. Even if you’re a Texan.
On Monday, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that prohibits cities across Texas from banning hydraulic fracturing from their home turf. In what was a major agenda item for Texas lawmakers this session, towns like Denton, Texas — which passed the state’s first local fracking ban last November — will no longer be able to exercise local control over the oil and gas industry when it comes to nearby extraction.
The law will take effect immediately as it passed both chambers by more than a two-thirds margin. Communities will now only be able to impose ordinances that regulate aboveground activity related to oil and gas operations, such as things relating to traffic, noise, lights, or “reasonable setback requirements,” which dictate how far away drilling must be from buildings. The law is meant to ensure that these local surface regulations are commercially reasonable and do not “effectively” prohibit oil and gas operations.
In signing the bill, Gov. Abbott said it “does a profound job of helping to protect private property rights here in the State of Texas, ensuring those who own their own property will not have the heavy hand of local regulation deprive them of their rights.”
via Texas Governor Signs Bill That Makes Local Fracking Bans Illegal | ThinkProgress.