Unfortunately, those of us who support responsible use of innovative energy technologies such as fracking were unable to break through the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) spread by those who were pushing the Denton fracking ban. For various reasons insufficient effort went into addressing the health and environmental concerns of those who are normally in favor of energy production, but who have become fearful from the junk science being peddled by environmental extremists. And so, in Act I, the ban passed by a substantial margin.
Act II begins now, with several lawsuits filed already the day after the election. These lawsuits are not indicators of greed but rather of the very significant legal problems inherent in the ban. Contrary to what some ban proponents have stated, the simple fact that the ban was placed on the ballot does not indicate legal soundness. In fact, the ban is almost certain to be found illegal on multiple fronts—the only question is which set of legal perils prevails first.
Observers should expect a judge to issue an injunction against the ban in short order.
Act III will be the legal costs to Denton taxpayers, which will tally up to not only include the legal costs of defending the ban but also the legal settlements Denton will have to pay mineral rights owners, who have been deprived of a stream of revenue that would extend out for decades. The costs to Denton taxpayers will multiply accordingly.
We told you so.
Property rights and jurisdictional issues are not inconveniences, but rather are fundamental to the rule of law and to civil society. And that’s why IPI got involved.