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Cleaning Up the Colonias: Municipal Annexation and the Texas Fracking Boom

By Alejandra C. Salinas


For the hundreds of thousands of Americans who reside in poor, unincorporated settlements along the Texas-Mexico border called Colonias, a new source of hope has arisen from the unlikeliest of sources: fracking. Until recently, many Colonias were just shantytowns riddled with costly infrastructure problems that caused various environmental health concerns. Through fracking in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, Colonias are now part of one of the greatest oil booms this country has ever seen. The Eagle Ford Shale’s economic output has generated billions in tax revenue across Texas and has transformed the value of the land that the Colonias dwell on. This Note examines Texas’ history of Colonias, its experiences with fracking and its local government structures, and suggests that the annexation of Colonias by nearby municipalities would be a mutually beneficial solution that could substantially remedy the Colonias environmental health concerns and increase local property tax revenue

Topics: Energy and Utilities Law, Natural Resources Law, Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law, State and Local Government Law
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2015
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