The city of Denton, Texas sits on top of the Barnett Shale, where the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") was honed to resource-releasing, industry-enriching perfection. On Tuesday, Denton's citizens voted to ban fracking within city limits.
The fracking ban passed by a wide margin, 59 percent to 41 percent. Supporters of the moratorium were frustrated by Denton officials' inability to stop fracking wells being drilled near residential areas, schools and hospitals; there are some 270 wells in Denton proper.
Because the Barnett Shale is a "tight" gas reservoir, it served as the laboratory for techniques that made fracking economically viable. It also means, in the words of Barnett Shale Energy Education Council Executive Director Ed Ireland, the fracking ban is "essentially a ban on all drilling" in Denton.