AUSTIN, Texas — Cities and counties in Texas could no longer prohibit hydraulic fracturing under an oil and gas industry-backed measure overwhelmingly approved by the House.
The bill passed Friday comes months after the city of Denton banned local fracking over environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged by lawsuits brought by the state and industry groups.
Republicans say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws from spreading across Texas.
The bill has been among the most contentious in Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s first session. Abbott has stayed clear of the heated debate but has criticized local governments for what he calls overregulation.
The Senate still needs to take action on the bill before it goes to Abbott’s desk.
This article was written by Paul J. Weber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.