Texas bill to limit local anti-fracking ordinances advances

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A bill that would limit cities and towns from passing local ordinances restricting oil and gas drilling and exploration is headed to the full Senate.

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development voted 8-0 on Tuesday to advance a proposal by its chairman, Horseshoe Bay Republican Sen. Troy Fraser.

The bill is among the most-watched of nearly a dozen bills that seek to limit local regulations in the wake of a ban on hydraulic fracturing that votes in Denton overwhelmingly approved in November.

The measures have been cheered by energy companies who worry about local bans crimping key segments of Texas' economy, but municipal groups fear the state may impede local authority too much.

A similar bill in the House was considered in committee Monday but left pending.

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