Does Vladimir Putin want Denton to ban fracking?

Sep 10, 2014, 1:43pm CDT Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 7:56pm CDT

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Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Does Russian President Vladimir Putin stand to gain if Denton bans fracking?

Staff Writer- Dallas Business Journal
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Who stands to benefit if Denton bans fracking?

Those behind the petition drive say it will benefit the Denton residents because they won’t have to worry about wells being fracked less than 300 feet away from their homes, which is what happened to several neighborhoods in South Denton.

Economist Ray Perryman said the result will be millions of dollars and jobs lost for Denton, costing the city up to $251.4 million over 10 years.

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Being the oil capital of the country and one of top producers of oil and gas worldwide, the stakes will be high when Denton voters cast their ballot on Nov. 4.

It could lead other cities to follow suit.

But who else benefits?

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his state-owned Gazprom Bank?

That’s what Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dated Sept. 8. He makes no specific mention of Denton’s petition drive or the upcoming referendum on fracking.

Instead Porter focuses on Gazprom’s hiring of two former U.S. senators, Trent Lott, R-Miss., and John Breaux, D-La., as lobbyists. This occurred despite Gazprom being under U.S. sanctions for Russia’s alleged role in shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed 283 people, Porter said.

“I am greatly concerned that a blacklisted, government-owned Russian bank is able to continue its campaign to weaken the American oil and gas industry and to hire two former United States senators to exert pressure on American policymakers,” Porter wrote in his letter.

He goes on to say that Gazprom has paid public relations firms such as Ketchum millions of dollars to damage the natural gas industry in Europe and America.

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Nicholas covers the energy, manufacturing, aviation and transportation beats for the Dallas Business Journal. Subscribe the Energy Inc. newsletter

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