Media Release: June 1, 2015
Denton Residents Defend Fracking Ban, Blockade Site of First New Frack Well
DENTON, TX — MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015– Attempts to drill the first new frack well since Denton residents voted to pass a fracking ban last November have been met with acts of civil resistance. 3 local community members and volunteers with the Frack Free Denton movement blockaded the gates of fracking operator Vantage Energy’s newest well pad in defense of the city ordinance that nearly 60 percent of residents supported at the ballot box.
“How could I sleep at night or look my children in the eyes if I was not here today to mark, with my body as well as my words, this injustice?” Said Adam Briggle, a 37 year old father of two who was arrested for trespassing after blocking the frack site entrance with his body and refusing to leave.
“I have more of a responsibility to do what is right than to comply with an unjust law that directly harms my neighbors and my own family,” said Tara Linn Hunter, volunteer coordinator of the Frack Free Denton movement and cofounder of the musical troupe The Frackettes, whose satirical videos have tens of thousands of views. “ We are no longer pleading with the oil soaked state politicians who have sold us out at the cost of our health and safety. We are taking direct action to enact the will of the people who voted fracking out of our community.”
With the recent passage of HB40, a law that preempts all local control of oil and gas production across Texas, Vantage Energy claims to have legal authority to frack within the city limits of Denton. “A just law would give those exposed to the harms of fracking a meaningful voice. An unjust law would subordinate those voices to the dictates of the powerful and wealthy. HB40 is an unjust law,” stated Briggle.
Also arrested was Niki Chochrek, another member of the Frackettes and a long time Frack Free Denton volunteer. “I believe our community has the right to defend itself from imminent threats,” she said. “The legislature in Austin wants us to believe that we must stand aside and allow ourselves to be poisoned by this reckless industry. I refuse to stand aside, and I believe most people in Denton feel the same way.”
Accompanying the 3 blockaders were a group of supporters who also blockaded the fracking gates until being dispersed by police. Supporters brought several banners, including one with the language of Denton’s fracking ban written large. “Sec.14.201 Prohibition of Hydraulic Fracturing. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in hydraulic fracturing within the corporate limits of the City.”