Companies taking different approaches to fracking disturbances

from Bloomberg Businessweek,

Cities and counties nationwide have passed 430 measures to control or ban fracking, the controversial technique of cracking subterranean rocks to release oil and natural gas, according to Food & Water Watch, an environmental advocacy group. If these initiatives “continue to proliferate, then companies lose access to those resources,” says David Spence, a professor of law, politics, and regulation at the University of Texas School of Law who studies fracking and drilling rules. A look at drilling operations in Texas and Colorado shows drillers taking different approaches to that threat. At a site near Dacono, Colo., Anadarko Petroleum (APC) built a wall of hay bales to hide swarms of trucks and floodlights and soften the roar of diesel engines in an attempt to be neighborly. At Dacono and other sites around the state, the company also built pipelines for water, oil, and gas to reduce the number of trucks and tanks at some locations to 50 from 400 in 2011. Thanks in part to these measures, state officials and environmental activists struck a deal in August to keep an antifracking referendum off the ballot in November while a task force studies the industry’s impact on local communities. No such compromise was reached about 800 miles away in Denton, Texas, a city of about 120,000 that sits atop the Barnett Shale, where the U.S. fracking boom began in the early 2000s. The result has been five years of public rancor over a series of projects.

Industry representatives argue that the city is partly to blame for allowing developers to build residential communities in areas where drilling was already allowed. “It’s a conflict that was actually created by the administration in the city of Denton,” says Ed Ireland, executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.

In Dacono, Anadarko’s more diplomatic approach helped avoid a similar vote.

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