Texas Town May Predict the Future of Fracking
The city of Denton, Texas, is split over whether or not a drilling technology called fracking helps or hurts the community.
On Tuesday night, the city council rejected a bid to ban the practice, opting instead to put it on the November ballot.
The North Texas community sits on a large natural gas reserve, and fracking releases its trapped oil and gas by blasting water, sand, and chemicals deep into underground rock.
"Fracking has made major improvements in the U.S. economy," said James Herbison, a Denton resident who supports the practice.
Believe it or not, the world's biggest oil producer is not Saudi Arabia or any other Middle Eastern country -- it's the United States, and fracking is a key reason.
"This is not a boom that's going to fizzle in three or four or five years," fracking supporter Curtis Hanzel told CBN News. "This is going to be a long time 30-year boom."
Fracking is also the reason North Dakota's economy is booming.
Oil production in the state has zoomed up 600 percent in the last seven years, putting it right behind Texas as the second largest oil producing state.
Such economic benefits are hard to ignore. But those who oppose fracking say the environmental and health concerns cannot be ignored.
During eight hours of testimony in Denton Tuesday night, opponents like Maile Bush explained the hazards.
"Since the fracking started, my children have had headaches, coughing, and nosebleeds," he said.
Now voters in Denton will now decide whether or not they'll allow fracking on new wells. If they vote against the drilling technology, they'll become the first city in this top oil and gas producing state to say no.
That's why what happens in Denton is considered a litmus test on the future of fracking.