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Anti-fracking protesters march on Youngstown's North Side

Published: Sat, December 29, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.




With an eye toward the release of “Promised Land,” a movie about a Pennsylvania town making a decision about whether or not to allow fracking, local protesters marched in Youngstown to promote their own effort to ban the practice in the city.

Activist Lynn Anderson asked everyone who attended Friday’s event to sign a petition on the Frackfree America website that would put an issue on the ballot to ban fracking.

“We’re putting the issue directly on the ballot because the mayor and the city council are not serving the citizens,” she said.

The plan is to gain enough signatures to place a referendum on the primary ballot in May, Anderson said.

Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh city councilman who helped get a similar ban on fracking passed in Pittsburgh, said he talks to a lot of farmers who regret leasing mineral rights to the oil and gas industry.

“[The industry] promises a lot, gives very little and takes everything,” Shields said.

Citizens should pass these types of bans to protect their future, he said.

Dan Alfaro, spokesman for Energy In Depth-Ohio, an oil- and gas-industry support organization, criticized Shields’ involvement in trying to help pass a ban on fracking in Youngstown.

“It’s not surprising Mr. Shields would welcome the opportunity to jump in the limelight, albeit a small, dim one, to continue promoting his factless agenda,” Alfaro said. “It’s politics at its worst — his propagandist messages no longer hold sway in southwestern Pennsylvania, so he looks to gain celebrity amongst a small group of anti-fossil fuel

activists across the river in engaging in the politics of distraction.”

The protest did not go exactly as the protesters had hoped.

Chris Lewis, director of marketing and public relations for Stambaugh Auditorium, asked the protesters to leave the stairway of the historic auditorium on Fifth Avenue.

“You didn’t ask for permission, and you can’t be here on private property,” Lewis said to the marchers.

The protesters left without incident, starting again across the street in Wick Park.

“Stambaugh Auditorium is in no way affiliated with any group in support of or in opposition to any issue of this kind, and does not endorse protests or demonstrations of any sort on the property,” Lewis wrote in a statement after the protesters left.


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

If only these activists found something constructive to do instead of trying to hamper the upcoming Valley revitalization.

These people would've protested the Steel mills all those years ago i would bet. Where would Youngstown be if it weren;t for that industry.

The 60s are over, the hippie movement long gone, its time to move on folks.

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2lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Hay Viny I think you will find that the Tea Party likes the oil industry, the anti fracking nuts are libs.

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3Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow, looks like they had a huge turnout for this protest. I counted 9 people. LMAO

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4JUSLIKEDIS(7 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Getting turned away from the Stambaugh Auditorium is a huge downer! The next step should be to march on the sewage treatment plant to stop those methane gas discharges.

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5LtMacGowan(714 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Fracking needs to be stopped! I for enjoy not having 13 earthquakes a year. Funny how after that last major earthquake on New Years Eve 2011 when they imposed the moratorium we haven't had any quakes at all?

Whats a little earth quakes and untold ecological damage compared to some cheap, short sighted profit!

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6NoBS(2832 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

OMG, McGowan!!! Please inform yourself before you further embarrass yourself. Fracking has not stopped - it continues to this day. It has not caused any earthquakes or any other disasters. What the moratorium was for was operating that one brine injection well. The countless other brine injection wells are still in use. Again, no earthquakes.


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7Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

The spokesman for Energy In Death-Ohio, accuses these protesting patriots about a "factless agenda", "politics at its worst" and "propagandist messages".
Bad case of projection, eh Alfaro? Must really bug you that at least one public servant is not among your harem of political prostitutes.

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8chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

No mention of Bob Hagan. Has he abandoned his anti-fracking friends?

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9sameolhub(56 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Fracking and off shore drilling, and drilling on government owned lands, and in Alaska, and pretty much anywhere else we have the ability to extract energy from the earth are all part of the puzzle of getting us energy independent from Muslims like our current president. These left wing nut job protesters will say the sky is falling regardless of what attempts we make to become energy independent. We need a civil war, the right vs the left, the makers vs the takers, the conservatives vs socialists, most of the left will sleep in that day waiting for their government checks. Take a trip to Washington Pa, the fracking capital of western Pa and look at their economy and the wealth being created there morons!!!! And we wonder why Youngstown is the armpit of America? It's those liberal dumocrats running things here all of these years that have made us that.

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10cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

After reading the comments on this thread It is obvious that stupidity IS a disease.

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11republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

George, in his comment posted above, is correct. These protesters are people of little means who do not have a science background. They go around scared of life. If they are miserable and unhappy they want EVERYONE to be unhappy and poor and resist the money and prosperity coming to our community.

What's more troubling is the Vindicator putting these 9 unhappy and science illiterate people on the front page. The Vindicator is pushing an ultra-liberal environmental agenda that would stop our community from advancing and enjoying a renewd prosperity from the riches that lie below our feet.

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12redeye1(5670 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

@Cambridge All the stupidity comes from the state of California ( the land of Fruits and nuts !& Peloser) Oh wait, isn't that where you live.

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13paulydel(1607 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Tell them to go frack themselves. Just because there are a few idiots causing a scene the say the citizens are not being represented. Tell that to the people who are getting a paycheck.

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14JakeJ(4 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

If Americans were as smart as they make themselves out to be we would be creating manufacturing jobs, inventing sustainable energy options that would benefit us now and for the future of our children. The fossil fuel industry is a path to destruction and the industry knows it. That's why they hire hacks like Alfaro to try to legitimize what they are doing. Just like the tobacco industry. Wake up people, do you honestly think that any of us are against jobs and boosting the economy? When the risks outweigh the rewards it's not worth the $$ only a few will get.

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15JakeJ(4 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I forgot to mention, the industry is getting nervous. When a movie like Promise Land comes out to let people know whats really going on they send in the Alfaro's to do their dirty work like bad mouthing those who actually care and spend their time volunteering to help make the world a better place. If this industry was so good for everyone there wouldn't be movies like Promise Land, Gasland and others that will come warning us to be cautious, not greedy like the industry hacks. This one industry wouldn't have to be exempt from regulations every other industry must abide by. I honestly don't know how these people sleep at night. They know what they are doing is wrong, it's just that some will take $$$ over integrity and honesty. Sometimes I am embarrassed to read the crap that the people living in my town are writing. It's shameful and ignorance is a large reason why there is so much unemployment in this town.

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16JoeFromHubbard(1813 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Fortunately the oil and gas industry is sufficiently established to deflect the nonsense presented by these misguided souls who let fear and ignorance be their guide.

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17DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Yeah right. We'll believe the Hollyweird industry when they give up their elitest 1% lifestyle and feeble attempts to drag the USA down to becoming a third world nation. (Except of course for their ilk.)

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18lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Vinny where did you get the idea that the Tea Party was against progress? I have been to a lot of Tea Party rallies and never heard any one want to stop drilling, I have even said the gas company could put a well in my garage if they paid me enough for it

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19Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Farmer's tractors running on natural gas ? I think I smell B.S.

So for decades we bought gas from Muslim nations and now it is taboo because horizontal fracking will save the nation from all of its woes ? Yeah OK.

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20cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

markus....I'm against fracking but I haven't gotten any funding from the RUSSIANS yet. Do you have their number or a link, I'd like to call them and get my cut?

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21cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

jmwo8...since you are an expert on the subject, can you tell me why fracking is exempt from federal clean air and clean water acts?

I know that the dick....chenney had the energy companies wright America's energy policy and that is when the exemptions were put in place. Is it because the energy companies and their shills...I mean experts like yourself know without the exemption they couldn't keep fracking up the air and water?

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2276Ytown(1370 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


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23kurtw(1828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The anti-frackers (like the left-wing in general) always misuses or ignores facts- that's how they operate. They play on emotions and primitive urges.

They say that fracking is bad, but if you ask them to explain they're always short on specifics. They don't care about facts- it's a religion with them- might as well argue with a snake handler.

The best approach with these kinds of people is to ignore them. State the facts as they are for reasonable people to determine- nut-jobs belong with raisins- good mix, really, very nutritious!

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24kurtw(1828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Also, I wonder what their turnout will be this time- last time they had thirty people- zealots from the Unitarian Chapel on Elm Street- how many this time- 35, 36?

The Youngstown-Metro area has how many- 300,000? Well, Jesus only had 12 Disciples, right.

It's a religious movement with them, has nothing to do with facts or science at all.

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25cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

uticashill....untill you and the rest of you shills (or all those user names you?) tell me why if you are not polluters you would need to be exempt from clean water and clean air acts. you are frauds and everyone knows it.

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26WolfAxis(3 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Protesting is worthless and about as autistic as supporting drilling itself. To hell with the economy. That which is falling should be pushed.

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27walter_sobchak(2726 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

From my review of the reasons that fracking is exempt from the clean water and air acts, the EPA policy and interpretation was that oil and gas exploration activities were not subject to the restrictions of the acts. The 2005 exemption law put into legislation what had been up to that time the accepted EPA practice. Apparently, the EPA is not set up to deal with the permitting process for oil and gas exploration which is handled on the state level. Some members of Congress argued that giving the EPA even more power over industry would only delay drilling and exploration activities for sources of fossil fuels. But, Dick Cheney indeed was CEO of Halliburton until 2000 and most of his net worth and devil horns are attributed to that tenure. But the current administration has an distinct animus of private industry and I'm sure they would love to nationalize the oil and gas industry.

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28cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

walter...you talked around it a bit but after I filtered out the BS I think we have a winner.

"from my review of the reasons that fracking is exempt from the clean water and air acts....dick cheney indeed was CEO of halliburton until 2000...."

At least you had the gears to actually answer the question once it stopped spinning which is more than i can say for the industry stooges like uticashill..

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29lizzyb57(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Look in Vindy, January 4. Even New York's environmental agency has to admit "Fracking" is safe. Much safer than funding Arab countries with US dollars spent on their oil. It's not mysterious and you don't have to believe what you read. Visit Williamsport, PA. then on to Troy, PA.

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30lizzyb57(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

George, these people would not have to remain "of little means" with the jobs the industry would create and attract. Go see PA for yourself. It's only a few hours away.

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31bumbob(146 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Fracking is a terrible practice. And Chris Lewis should know that protest is probably the most significant thing to happen at Stambaugh auditorium in a long time. Sucks he didn't realize that.

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32kurtw(1828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Re: "fracking is a terrible practice".

Why is that? Please explain. You might as well say "internal combustion" is terrible, yet isn't that how must of us move from point A to Z. Or what about natural gas? Isn't that how most people heat their homes -unless, of course, they we chose to burn fire-wood, instead, but, wait, wait, that's terrible too, it increases Global Warming, terrible, terrible. Changing the subject for a minute to eating- what about sausages? I like sausages- but did you ever see what it takes to make them? Yeegh! Enough to change a carnivore into a vegan. Terrible, terrible!

The point is- you can't have it both ways. Every industrial process- including fracking carries risks and benefits and the trick is to correctly balance the two. If the Luddite-lefts chose to be true to their convictions, let them go out and live in tents and eat tofu and bean-sprouts (terrible! terrible!), instead of disparaging the very system that nourishes them- the capitalist-industrial society they love to insult while they live- very comfortably- under it's umbrella.

I've always hated hypocrites and there is nothing more hypocritical than the constant left-wing disparagement of the very society that nourishes them.

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33kurtw(1828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Talking again about "fracking", historically, there's another group of people that had a pathological hatred of another activity that starts with an "F" (I won't spell it out, the "Vindy" being, thank goodness, a family newspaper), but it refers to human reproduction. These people didn't like it because they thought it was ungodly and sinful. They chose to rely on converts, instead.

You may remember them- the "Shakers". There's only a few of them left in up-state New York now (still waiting, presumably, for converts to appear).

Some of the people in the Left-wing Environmental Movement remind me of the Shakers- opposed to an activity they consider "ungodly and sinful" (Liberalism is a Religion- not a Political Movement)- despite the facts.

At least the Shakers kept to themselves- they didn't try to convert other people to their particular brand of Lunacy. Liberals should heed the Shakers in this particular regard as well- and not try to impose their views on the rest of us.

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34kurtw(1828 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Why did the protesters on the steps of Stambaugh Auditorium just quietly go away when told to?

If they had the courage of their convictions, the would have chained themselves to the railing and offered to nobly freeze to death in support of their cause. That would have meant something and would have drawn national media attention.

Just getting up and walking away- what is that- cowardly, I call it.

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35cambridge(4150 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

kurtw....can you tell me why the frackers are exempt from federal clean water and clean air acts?

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36najjjj(106 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

"The 60s are over, the hippie movement long gone, its time to move on folks. "

So, Bman, in other words, sit down shut up and let corps. run amok to "revitalize". You'll be left with a complete wasteland after corps. pull out. All the strides the valley has made in recent years will be for naught when you return to the time when mills pulled out. The recent upturn in the valley has been due in large part to local investors. Guess what, in the long run it works, attracts stable large community base along with large outside companies. Look at Seattle. It cannot be just one sided.......tilted toward steel mills or fracking.

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37kenema(1 comment)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Have time to protest? How about time to find a job?

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38Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Keep protesting. You got to love all the outsiders handing out advice. Cambridge made an interesting point about the various user names under a handful of company men. Those protesting aren't getting paid they do it out of interest for the community. You have to love these folks with 2 comments and they are about fracking.LOL

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