Over the past several years, activists in Youngstown have pushed repeatedly to get anti-fracking “Community Bill of Rights” measures on the ballot. While they’ve managed to do so four times, the measure has been soundly rejected on each occasion. Yet, this small cadre of activists keepspromising to force residents into voting on it again. But in doing so, these activists may be imposing major costs on those they claim to be protecting: local taxpayers.
For example, a recent article in Energywire entitled “For towns fighting drilling, the legal bills are as high as the stakes” discusses a group called the Community Legal Environmental Defense Fund (CELDF), which crafted an ordinance in Mora County, New Mexico that banned fracking. The ordinance was struck down by a federal judge in January, causing the small town to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs. As a result, Mora County may be facing municipal bankruptcy.
The CELDF has been behind pushing numerous fracking bans across the nation, including inAthens Ohio, where an anti-fracking charter amendment has already been cited as indefensible. As Energywire also reported,
“CELDF’s Executive Director Tom Linzey previously told EnergyWire that the first advice he dishes out to interested towns and counties is that they must be prepared to accept municipal bankruptcy as a worst-case scenario” (emphasis added)Read more by clicking here.
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