Saturday, December 06, 2014

184.5 - Update: So much for democracy, Texas style

Update: So much for democracy, Texas style

A couple of weeks ago, in running down some good news that came out of the November elections, I noted that the town of Denton, Texas, had voted by a wide margin to ban fracking within city limits.

Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is a means of increasing production from oil and natural gas wells by pumping a mix of water, sludge, and one of several different cocktails of toxic chemicals into a well under such pressure that it literally fractures the surrounding rock, allowing more fossil fuel to be extracted from the fissures created.

The residents of Denton, one of the most heavily-fracked communities in Texas, complained about poor air quality, noise, and an increase in low-magnitude earthquakes associated with the process locally. So they voted to ban it.

But to show you - assuming such a show was needed - what happens when right-wingers who screech about "small government" and "local control" do when that conflicts with the desires of big money, just two days after the vote, Christi Craddick, chairwoman of the state commission that oversees oil and gas drilling said she would simply ignore the ban and go right on issuing fracking permits in Denton.

Revealingly, her reasoning was, quoting her, “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s. We’re going to continue permitting up there because that’s my job." Actually, Ms. Craddick, your job is to regulate - but I'm not surprised you think your job is to hand out permits like candy to "frack, baby, frack."

She also claimed the vote was the result of “misinformation” and that the oil and gas industry should have done more to communicate with locals. However, according to the Dallas Morning News, the fracking ban question was the most expensive political campaign in Denton’s history, and one in which major oil and gas companies spent $685,000 - remember, this is a municipal election ballot question - outspending environmentalists supporting the ban by close to 30-1.

Right-winger definition of what constitutes an illegitimate election among uninformed voters: one that they lose.

Sources cited in links:

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