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(Ken Childress)

New Mexico county passes strict drilling rules as state judge considers wider ban

The new ordinance supersedes a moratorium on oil and gas development that had been in place since 2010.
President of Denton Drilling Awareness, Cathy McMullen, right, holds up a sign asking voters to vote in favor of banning fracking at the Denton Civic Center in Denton, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (Special to the Houston Chronicle/Brandon Wade)

In Denton, a vote ends very little

The measure has already drawn two formidable legal challenges, one from the Texas General Land Office and the other from the Texas Oil & Gas Association.
Alan Roberts, 53, gets a haircut from Josie Wimberley at a man camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas. An oilfield worker all his adult life, Roberts said, "The good old days were the hard old days. If you lived on a drilling rig, you lived in a little room with six or eight guys on top of you." (Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

Photos: Amid shale oil boom, “man camps” still growing

Life has changed quickly for the small towns at the center of the shale oil boom
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Illinois lawmakers approve fracking rules

A number of key details were not disclosed, including how the state plans to fund the hiring of new workers to oversee the practice.
The fracking ban measure headquarters in downtown Hollister, Calif. has taken over a former sporting goods shop Thursday October 30, 2014

Fracking ban passes in 2 of 3 California counties

Only voters in Santa Barbara County said “No” to a prohibition on the drilling technique.
President of Denton Drilling Awareness, Cathy McMullen, right, gives a thumbs up to passing motorist at the Denton Civic Center in Denton, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

After fracking ban, a long fight ahead

The Texas Oil and Gas Association filed its challenge in federal court on Wednesday morning, arguing that the city has no right to override state policy favoring subterranean mineral extraction.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Denton voters pass fracking ban

The vote made Denton, which sits atop a large natural gas reserve, the first city in Texas to pass such a ban. It sets up a legal showdown between the city and industry groups that have warned the ban could be followed by lawsuits and a severe hit to Denton’s economy.
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Houston company’s fracking plans near W.Va. chemical plant on hold

A full hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 12.
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Cuomo: Hydraulic fracturing is ‘divisive’ issue

But the governor continued to say he will let scientists decide on the drilling practice.
(Special to the Houston Chronicle/Brandon Wade)

Fracking ban divides Denton

As Election Day nears in this small city 30 miles north of Dallas, a wary unease has settled over the early voting on a local referendum of national significance. If passed, the proposition would be the first to completely ban the petroleum extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing in one small corner of the great oil and gas boom state of Texas.