Texas Governor Stops Towns From Banning Controversial Industry

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning a gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation.
Texas, a state that is home to the two of the most productive US shale oil fields, has been under pressure to halt an anti-fracking movement since November, when voters in the town of Denton voted to ban the gas extraction technique.
Abbott, a Republican, said “This law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city." Scientists are investigating whether a string of earthquakes in Texas is the result of fracking for oil and gas. Locals in the Texas city of Irving suspect fracking - pumping high pressure liquid into the bedrock to free oil and gas - is to blame for more than a hundred quakes in the region, as does seismologist Professor Brian Stump.