The ban is a huge step for Texans who oppose fracking because it would be a significant change from what they’ve seen in other parts of the country, where the industry has been a boon to local economies and jobs.
But the ban doesn’t go far enough to address the real issue, said Mike Osterman, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Oil and Gas Project.
“It’s just a stopgap measure to keep oil and gas out of our water,” he said.
“But if you don’t address the fact that the state of Texas has a fracking ban, then you’re going to be seeing more and more people going to other states to access it.”
Texas’s ban also puts more pressure on the federal government to act, because states can only ban fracking in a limited number of cases.
“It’s not just about a state ban, it’s a federal ban,” Ostermans said.
“This is about states deciding they don’t want to participate in a federal-state partnership, because that’s where the profits come from,” he added.
“If Texas doesn’t want this to happen, then we need to be a little more vocal about it, to say, ‘This is not OK.'”
Oil and gas companies are pushing for a federal fracking ban as part of a broader effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.
But the state has also pushed back, arguing that its ban would hurt the oil and natural gas industry.
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