Railroad Commission Chairman Smitherman Sends Plea to City of Denton Regarding Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing


AUSTIN--Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Barry Smitherman has sent a letter to the mayor and council members for the City of Denton requesting that they not approve a petition that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing inside the Denton city limits. The City of Denton will hold a public hearing on July 15, 2014 to consider the petition.

Chairman Smitherman said in the letter, “A ban on hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells within the city limits of Denton is essentially a ban on drilling. Those advocating for a ban on hydraulic fracturing know that what they are really calling for is ban on drilling. And, they are calling for a ban on oil and gas drilling, one of the key pillars of our Texas economy, without citing any concrete examples of hydraulic fracturing negatively impacting public health.”

In the letter, Chairman Smitherman also asked that his written comments be considered at the July 15 public hearing.

To view the letter in its entirety, visit the Railroad Commission of Texas website at http://www.rrc.texas.gov/media/21731/denton-ltr-7-10-14.pdf.


Chairman Barry Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011, and was elected Chairman in February 2012. In November 2012, Chairman Smitherman won a statewide election to the Commission with 74 percent of the vote, receiving more than 4.5 million votes. Chairman Smitherman currently serves as Texas’ representative on the Southern States Energy Board, and as Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Gas Committee. He is on the Visiting Committee of the Bureau of Economic Geology with the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas School of Law Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law. He served two terms in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee, and was on the Public Utility Commission of Texas from April 2004 through July 2011.