Fracking Up Texas
It may be true, as they say, that everything is bigger in Texas—even the hypocrisy of the state’s elected Republican officials. It is so big that exposing these two-faced scoundrels in a single HUSTLER column will de difficult. But saddle up, pardner. I’m gonna try.
The voters of Denton, Texas—the vast majority of them registered Republicans—learned the hard way. Last November they went to the polls and elected Republicans to just about every seat on the ballot. They also voted on a proposition to prohibit hydraulic fracturing—aka fracking, the high-powered injection of a chemical-laden soup into the ground to release oil and gas reserves—within city limits.
The local measure sparked an unprecedented effort by the oil and gas industry to block the grassroots initiative. “It was a true David and Goliath story,” Adam Briggle of FrackFreeDenton.com and an associate professor at the University of North Texas, told me. “The industry threw $1.1 million into the campaign.…We were able to raise about $75,000.” According to Briggle, “95% of our money came from Denton residents. About 0.2% of their money came from Denton residents.… All the cards were stacked against us.”
But even though the industry was supported by the Denton Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party, the anti-fracking coalition—in Briggle’s words, “the real residents of Denton”—won. Or so they thought.