Frackers face a comeuppance on unexpected battlefield

The University of North Texas, known for its jazz school and sometimes for its “Mean Green” football team, might soon be known nationwide as Frack U.

The University of North Texas, known for its jazz school and sometimes for its “Mean Green” football team, might soon be known nationwide as Frack U.

UNT (where I went to college back in the Paleocene Epoch) and the good people of the surrounding city of Denton – just 30 miles north of Dallas – are at the center of an epochal fight between Big Oil Frackers and common sense citizens.

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Unbeknownst to nearly all Dentonites until recently, they sit atop the Barnett shale field, a deposit of natural gas locked a mile and a half underground in ancient rock. Suddenly, the city was invaded by Shell Oil and other profiteers drilling deep wells to “frack” that rock – literally shattering it with a high-pressure slurry of water, sand, and a witch’s brew of toxic chemicals. Fracking rigs popped up next to schools, homes, and even on campus, generating waves of pollution, a constant roar, and the rumble of hundreds of heavy trucks through neighborhoods. People got the mess, corporations got the profit, and foreign nations are getting the energy.

So, Rebellion! A gutsy and savvy group of hundreds of grassroots Dentonites – led by the likes of a home care nurse, a UNT philosophy professor, and a jazz drummer – has proposed a city ban on future fracking, and they stunned the arrogant, aloof fracker club by getting the proposal on the November 4 ballot. Of course, the industry powers are now rolling out their usual politicking arsenal of big money, lies, fake economic reports, and slander – accusing the grassroots people of being “wacko” and even terrorists.

But nothing’s more wacko than letting corporate giants plunder our environment, threaten our health, and frack our democratic right to govern our local communities. To follow and help the people’s fight in Denton, go to www.FrackFreeDenton.com.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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