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Blowout: A Community’s Engagement with Fracking

Adam Briggle

Adam Briggle is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas. Briggle received his PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his current research and teaching topics are Fracking and Energy Politics, Ethics and Policy of Science and Technology, Environmental Ethics and Policy, and Bioethics. Briggle is the author of A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking  as well as several other books in his field.

Dr. Briggle moved to Denton in 2009 with his wife Amber Briggle and their two children. While searching for a home in Denton, Briggle discovered the practice of fracking and its prevalence in Denton city limits- this discovery would spark Briggle’s future as a scholar-activist. In 2011, Briggle was approached and along with others created DAG (Denton Stakeholder Advisory Group later renamed Denton Drilling Awareness Group) as a way to inform the public about the practices involved with fracking and work with the city to create legislative measures for fracking to exist within the city limits in a non-harmful way. When it was evident that they were not going to be able to work with the city to find a viable solution, Briggle and his colleagues shifted their views to call for a ban on fracking within Denton with the creation of Frack Free Denton in February of 2014.

 Aside from opening his home for the movement, Dr. Briggle ran a blog, spoke at town halls, and actively worked on the campaign to pass the ban- and their hard work paid off when the ban passed on November 4th, 2014. The victory was short lived. Even with the ban being overturned, Briggle did not stop his fight against fracking within the city limits of Denton. On June 1st, 2015 when fracking was set to resume, Adam Briggle, Tara Linn Hunter, and Niki Chochrek were arrested for trespassing after staging a sit-in at a fracking site. 

Briggle’s arrest would be his last big stand in the Frack Free Denton movement, soon after he chose to step away from the movement as his views began to differ from those of the other members. These days much of Briggle’s activism focuses on promoting the rights of transgender children.

To learn more about Briggle’s experiences,  please listen to his full interview. Shorter, thematic clips may be accessed through the site's search.