Illegal Astroturfing

Fracking only employs 0.2% of our workforce. And only 2% of the mineral wealth actually belongs to Denton families.

This gives the industry a bit of an image problem: they are not local, but they need to appear that way.

They had this problem for years during the rewrite of our ordinance. The only people who spoke in favor of fracking were paid and bussed in from Ft. Worth. At the epic July 15 public hearing, a small minority spoke against the ban. Most of them were out-of-towners. And you may have noticed at forums about the ban the opposition has yet to be represented by a local citizen. It’s always a hired gun hand picked by the industry.

The industry seems to be using their near-limitless financial resources to take a two-prong approach to this problem. First and most laughably, they’ve tried to flip the script and accuse Frack Free Denton of being run by Russians. Our Board is all local residents. Our volunteer army is all local.

Second, and most insidiously, they are trying to brand themselves local. We now know the oil-and-gas-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce flew to Denton to buy the Denton Chamber Board’s credibility to make it look like the Denton business community favors this industry. They tell lies about how great they are for Denton’s schools (while using a stock photo of kids from who knows where).

And now they are ILLEGALLY infringing on UNT’s trademark eagle — effectively stealing the local persona that they just don’t have.

Here’s the illegal meme.


Here is the response drafted by UNT’s legal team.