An environmental activist has launched a “guerilla maneuver” plan to force the Texas Democratic Party to work toward fracking bans in the energy-rich state, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Jere Locke, who runs the nonprofit Texas Drought Project and has long been involved in environmental matters in Central Texas, has recruited volunteers to gather thousands of signatures during the convention, to be held June 17-18, in a bid to force stronger language onto the party’s platform.

The platform serves as a guiding document for the party and its candidates. … Currently, the state Democratic Party platform says the state “is blessed with natural gas and oil resources and new hydraulic fracturing technologies for extraction have opened up vast resources.”


… Locke wants the party to adopt language calling for a ban on new fracking operations. Dissatisfied with early discussions on the state party platform advisory committee on which he sits — Locke said the reaction has been lukewarm about more aggressive language — he says he is preparing for the petition drive.

Locke claims fracking is potentially dangerous—but the facts don’t back him up.

By environmental groups’ own tallies, 120 billion gallons of water have been used to frack in Texas since 2005. But, as the Statesman notes, “the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, has documented no contamination of groundwater.”

At any rate, Locke’s agenda is unlikely to be popular in Texas, where energy is a key economic driver.