Texas Wesleyan Law Review

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This paper will aggregate and discuss some of those issues, including Fort Worth's attempt to balance the benefits and burdens of urban drilling. Section I will explain the significant advantages associated with increased production of natural gas. Section II will present a general overview of the Barnett Shale. Section III will detail some of the legal doctrines relative to oil and gas, land use, and water rights. Section IV will cover some of the potential environmental impacts of urban drilling on the community. Section V will review and analyze pertinent sections of Fort Worth's municipal drilling ordinance, along with some commentary regarding the effectiveness of the ordinance. Section VI will explore whether a prohibitive drilling ordinance rises to the level of a regulatory taking. Finally, a brief conclusion will be offered in Section VII weighing the benefits of urban gas production against the potential for environmental harm. Ultimately, this paper is driven by the need to define the proper balance between the advantages of increased natural gas production and the potential environmental and legal impacts of urban drilling. However, the balance depends on the proper regulation of urban drilling through prudent municipal ordinances. Municipalities must be vigilant in enforcing their police power by enacting effective drilling ordinances, but must also use discretion in order to avoid takings claims and conflicts with state laws, which have historically favored the dominance of the mineral estate.



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