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Blowout: A Community’s Engagement with Fracking

Key Terms


  • The efforts to impact social, political, economical, and environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society.

Applied Democracy

  • When people actively participate in the decision-making process in government, which includes campaigning and voting. 

Barnett Shale

  • An underground rock formation that is at its richest point under the westside of Denton and Fort Worth that contains natural gas.

Blackland Prairie Rising Tide

  • Founded in 2010, this organization's current goal is to facilitate the enforcement of the 2014 Denton Fracking Ban.

DAG- Denton Stakeholder Advisory Group later renamed Denton Drilling Awareness Group

  • A nonprofit organization founded in 2011 by a group of Dentonites aimed at informing the public about the practices involved in fracking. This group was tasked with finding a way for fracking to exist in Denton in a non-harmful way, but would later shift their focus to gathering support to pass the 2014 fracking ban.

Denton Fracking Ban

  • The ban on fracking within Denton city limits. This was passed on November 4th, 2014 and overturned by HB 40 on June 17th, 2015.

Denton Taxpayers for a Strong Economy

  • A political action committee (PAC) consisting of wealthy Dentonites that opposed the ban. Because this was their purpose for creating this organization, they have not been active since the 2014 election.

Frack Free Denton

  • PAC founded in February 2014 aimed at passing a ban to end fracking in Denton. This organization remains active in its efforts to inform the community about fracking and related issues in Denton.

Fracking also called Hydraulic Fracturing

  • The process by which water is shot at high pressure into an underground shale, releasing the natural gas and petroleum contained within. For more information on fracking, please click here.


  • A grassroots movement is a group of community activists largely regarded as ordinary people.

House Bill 40 also known as HB 40 

  • This bill, passed June 17th, 2017, declares that cities have the right to enact commercially reasonable regulations for surface drilling activities, but the state (through the Railroad Commission of Texas) has the exclusive jurisdiction over sub-surface activities and oil and gas operations. For more information on HB 40, please click here.

Local Control

  • Local leaders have the authority to make independent or autonomous decisions about the governance of their municipality.

Mineral Rights

  • The right to exploit, produce, and/or use the subsurface minerals of an individual's property.

NIMBY- Not In My Back Yard

  • A person who objects to having something perceived as potentially dangerous or unpleasant in their own neighborhood, but they do not object when it is in an area that does not affect them. This term is specifically used in environmentalist movements and other environmentally-oriented fields. 

Occupy Denton

  • Founded on October 15th, 2011, the Occupy Denton movement is a local offshoot of the international socio-political movement in opposition against mass economic and social injustices. This movement remained active on social media until September 2018, but has not hosted events since late 2012.

Precautionary Principle

  • In the context of this project, precautionary principle means that a community should be informed about both the proven and potential risks of a practice such as fracking.

Rayzor Ranch

  • Located at the intersection of I-35 and U.S. 380 in Denton, Texas, Rayzor Ranch consists of a shopping center with a nearby city park, neighborhoods, restaurants, a medical center, and a fracking location.

Robson Ranch

  • Robson Ranch is regarded as a luxury retirement community for active adults located on the outskirts of Denton, Texas, near a fracking site.


  • Someone who uses their position in the academy as a means to serve a particular community that they are part of.

Setback Distance

  • The minimum distance between a fracking site and a house and/or business.

Stop Denton Gas Plants

  • A volunteer community group aimed at stopping new sources of pollution in Denton.

Texas Oil and Gas Association

  • A statewide trade organization that represents small independent and major producers in the Texas oil and gas industry.

Vintage Neighborhood

  • A neighborhood located near fracking sites on the westside of Denton between I-35W and U.S. 377.

Zoning Laws

  • Laws defining how specific geographic areas can be used.