The US State of Texas has passed state legislation that renders residents unable of voting in favour of a ban on the controversial shale gas extraction method, fracking.
Residents in Denton voted overwhelmingly in favour of a permanent ban on fracking last November, but on Monday, Vantage Energy began operations at a well site after state authorities overturned the ban.
Police arrested protestors who staged a sit-in at the entrance to the site, but there was some sense of respect and appreciation between officers and the protestors.
Before arresting three protestors on Monday, Sergeant Jenkins, who has been a police officer in Denton for 30 years, shook the hand of Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, and thanking him and two other residents for the work they had done.
Briggle said, “An act of civil disobedience requires you to distinguish just laws from unjust laws. I have read much about this and discussed Antigone, Thoreau, and Martin Luther King, Jr. with my students. But I have never acted until now, because never before has that distinction been so clear in my mind.”
He added, “A just law would give those exposed to the harms of fracking a meaningful voice. An unjust law would subordinate those voices to the dictates of the powerful and wealthy. HB 40 is an unjust law.”
Councilman Kevin Roden said that repealing the ban is the city’s best option.
“Right now all we have is a very over-reactive legislature and their bad legislation.”
“Repealing the ban ordinance pulls the carpet out from under the industry and doesn’t give them the pleasure of getting an early legal assist on this issue. They want us to fight this all the way in court.”
“It gives them what they want. I don’t want to keep giving the industry what they want. I want to continue to fight, but do so in a way that best prepares us for the strategic battles ahead.”
Residents have vowed to continue to fight the decision to block Vantage Energy from fracking near residential areas.
Image: Climate Revolution via Twitter