It's early voting time and Voting Week here at We Denton Do It. During this week, we hope to help get people informed on the various issues that you'll face at the polls when you go to vote. We'll cover quite a few issues, but always encourage you to do research on your own, too.
We've had a few people write in with their thoughts on various issues and we've reached out to a few others. Adam Briggle, an associate professor at UNT and board member of Denton Drilling Awarness Group, wrote to us with his thoughts on the proposed hydraulic fracking ban in Denton. Below are his thoughts on why people should vote in favor of the ban.
Eight months ago, we initiated a citizens’ petition to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city limits. That was the spark. We have since been humbled to watch the people of Denton fan that spark into a flame that is lighting the path toward a brighter future – a future when parents can set down their heavy burden of worry about the specter of fracking near their homes.
We can see that possibility now. On November 4, we can write the story of a new tomorrow for Denton. What was going to be a tale of industrialized neighborhoods and poisoned playgrounds can become the story of a vibrant city, proudly announcing its right to self-determination.
We felt a shift the moment we announced the petition for the ban. People came out from the dark corners of apathy and hopelessness. They rekindled a sense of citizenship and put their creative talents in service of the commonweal. And now we can feel our city rising up. Now we can see a new dawn on the horizon. Now we can hear the voices of the people. We are saying in unison: this is our air and our water. This is our health and safety. This is our Denton and we are taking her back.
Video above: FLIR GF320 is an IR camera for optical gas imaging (OGI) that visualizes and pinpoints leaks of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). FLIR cameras are calibrated to make visible the invisible VOCs coming from oil and gas facilities. These videos were taken by a certified optical gas imaging thermographer in the city of Denton, Texas. Map of these and other FLIR videos.
Make no mistake. As these videos show, fracking is uniquely invasive, secretive, and toxic. A blowout in Denton last year released thousands of gallons of hydrochloric acid and proprietary chemicals. Nearby homes were evacuated. A new report shows chronic emissions of benzene at a frack site by McKenna Park. Fracking is a major reason why our area has the worst air quality and asthma rates in the state.
Arsenic and fracking chemicals were just found in water wells near Denton. To date, fracking has contaminated over 1.6 billion gallons of our freshwater forever. And a growing body of peer-reviewed research shows the health impacts, confirming what Denton families near fracking have long said: headaches, nosebleeds, breathing difficulties, nausea, and sleepless nights. Even the CEO of Exxon Mobile sued to keep fracking away from his home, citing well-grounded concerns of property devaluation.
For years, we tried to negotiate with the industry. We asked for some simple things. Could they install devices to reduce pollution? Could they eliminate the use of toxic waste pits? Could they stay at least 1,200 feet away from homes, parks, and schools?
Their response: “no, we don’t have to pay attention to your rules.”
Well, we have their attention now.
They have unleashed a flood of deceptions and distortions. But they have underestimated the intelligence of Denton voters. Every slick mailer of breathless hyperbole only strengthens our resolve. Every trumped up threat only emboldens us. Every bogus economic claim only swells our numbers as we learn that each acre of fracking actually means more pollution and less economic productivity.
They are hoping we will roll over at the prospect of a lawsuit. But we know the ban is legally sound and that this is a fight worth waging, because the very soul of our city and health of our bodies are at stake. We will not be bullied any longer.
The brighter our light grows, the more desperate they get. They’ve resorted to bizarre claims about our swing sets falling into disrepair after the ban. They are self-imploding, spinning out accusations of Russian conspiracies like a trail of debris from a dying star.
95% of donations to Frack Free Denton came from local citizens. Compare that to 0.2% from the other side. This is what it looks like when the people stand up.
Denton is on the rise. Now is the time for action. Everything hinges on the vote.
On your vote.
Vote FOR the ban and together we write the story of a stronger Denton.