Texas House set to vote on bill banning local fracking bans

By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Legislature is poised to take a major step toward wiping out a highly-publicized local ban on hydraulic fracturing approved by a college town near Dallas - and ensuring that other communities don't follow suit.

San Angelo Republican Rep. Drew Darby's bill is poised for House debate and approval Tuesday.

His is one of 11 proposals seeking to limit local restrictions on oil and gas exploration after Denton voters in November banned fracking in their town's territory.

Under pressure from municipal lobbies, Darby softened his original bill to allow local ordinances regulating things like noise associated with oil and gas activity. But it nonetheless bans fracking bans.

Opponents argue that Republicans backing the proposal - who usually decry government overreach - shouldn't supersede the will of local voters.

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