|CELDF founder Thomas Linzey|
The county charter/community bill of rights for Athens County appears headed toward the Nov. 3 ballot, but it’s important for residents to be aware of its limitations and potential consequences.Read much more in this article by clicking here.
This isn’t intended to recommend how residents vote on the proposed county charge (not yet), but rather that when they vote yes or no, they do so with eyes wide open.
Or another way of putting it, the question isn’t whether stopping oil and gas injection wells and regulating fracking are worthy endeavors (I think they are), but rather whether city and county community bill of rights amendments will accomplish that goal. Evidence strongly suggests they won’t.
Even if the Athens County charter/community bill of rights wins in a landslide, it likely will have no effect on oil-and-gas drilling activities (including injection wells) in Athens County. If you’re voting for this measure to protect county water resources and the environment in general, you’re probably going to be disappointed with the results.
Courts in Ohio and elsewhere across the country have ruled against similar community bill of rights and charters purportedly designed to ban or restrict fracking and other oil and gas drilling activities. Nearly all of these laws were either written by, or based on measures written by, an insurgent outfit in Pennsylvania, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).
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