It could be another long night for Denton citizens and city council members.
After more than three hours of public input, the Denton city council decided to table the issue of repealing the city's current ban on fracking.
The city heard from dozens of supporters of the ban Tuesday night.
"I say we took a lead and we voted for that ban and we shouldn't let that go now. To lay down and
just repeal, would be cowardice," said one speaker.
In November, Denton voters decided 59 to 41 to enact a ban on hydraulic fracture drilling, or fracking, after several issues between citizens, industry and the city’s ordinance surrounding drilling.
However, last month the state legislature passed House Bill 40, which essentially banned Denton and other cities from enacting such bans or putting rules on the drilling industry that aren’t deemed “commercially reasonable.”
With that action, Vantage Energy began the first new fracking operation in Denton’s city limits which lead to protests by some citizens this week and the arrest of six anti-fracking advocates as of Tuesday for trespassing on the drill site and refusing to move to let trucks get inside.
Mayor Chris Watts said he and the council now want to hear from citizens to decide what the best next step is in regards to the, now unenforceable fracking ban.
There has been discussion about repealing it as the city currently faces two lawsuits for having it in place, but Watts said the city could take any number of actions Tuesday night or even no action at all and chose to examine the issue further.
"Let's make sure that we all understand what the issues are,” said Watts. “Let's make sure we all understand what the consequences are, what the impacts are, any of the choices that may be available to us."