News Releases

Denton Litigation Relating to Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Resolved


HOUSTON, September 16, 2015 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, announced today that the litigation between its client, The Texas Oil & Gas Association (“TxOGA”), and the City of Denton has been resolved.

The Denton County District Court granted an Agreed Motion to Dismiss, filed by both parties, dismissing all claims as moot in the lawsuit concerning the legality of a hydraulic fracturing ban (Initiative Ordinance No. 2014-01) and a drilling moratorium (Ordinance No. 2014-137) in the City of Denton. The City of Denton repealed the first ordinance, and let the second one expire, thereby resolving the litigation.

The Agreed Order can be found here.

On June 17, 2015, the City of Denton passed an ordinance that repealed the hydraulic fracturing ban in light of the passage of H.B. 40. The City of Denton’s drilling moratorium expired on its own terms on August 18, 2015.

No further extensions of the drilling moratorium have been passed or proposed by the City of Denton. Since the hydraulic fracturing ban and the drilling moratorium are no longer in effect, TxOGA’s claims have been resolved.

“The agreed order was necessary to ensure the claims based on the repealed and expired statutes were resolved, that Denton would not re-enact these ordinances after the suit was terminated, and that the dismissal focused narrowly on the two ordinances in the case," said Bill Kroger, firmwide Practice Group Chair of Energy Litigation at Baker Botts.

Baker Botts’ counsel to TxOGA included: Bill Kroger (Partner, Houston); Thomas Phillips (Partner, Austin); Jason Newman (Partner, Houston); Evan Young (Partner, Austin); Ben Sweet (Associate, Houston); and Christine Ng (Associate, Houston).

The firm also represented TxOGA in reviewing the impact of H.B. 40, as passed by the Texas Legislature.

Cory Pomeroy, General Counsel for TxOGA, also represented TxOGA in these matters, and helped direct the work by the firm on both the litigation and H.B. 40.

“We are glad both sides have agreed to this dismissal. The oil and natural gas industry looks forward to continuing to responsibly partner with our fellow Texans as we grow our economy and protect our environment. Strict rules such as requiring multiple layers of cement and steel for well casing, along with air monitoring, are working to ensure we are protecting our water and air,” said Todd Staples, President of TxOGA.

To learn more about the Texas Oil & Gas Association, click here.


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 700 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 12 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit


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