Recently, Texas state legislators passed House Bill 40 to prevent individual cities from banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations within city limits. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill in May 2015, joining a number of other nationwide legislators who aim to give drilling and fracking decisions to state regulators.
The Texas bill was enacted after the City of Denton became the first municipality to ban local fracking in a November 2014 vote. The city lies on the 5,000-square-mile Barnett Shale Formation, making it a prime location for drilling operations. Previously, Denton fought to restrict fracking in the town, finally enacting the ban to cease drilling altogether.
Following the ban, gas development companies such as Vantage Energy were forced to abandon fracking efforts in Denton. In early June, they resumed these drilling operations after Governor Abbot signed House Bill 40 into effect.