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Fracking-ban amendment for Youngstown heads to May ballot

Published: Wed, February 20, 2013 @ 8:55 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Despite questions about whether a citizen-organized charter-amendment proposal to ban fracking in Youngstown is enforceable, city council members applauded the work by those behind the initiative.

Council approved an ordinance tonight to place the proposal on the May 7 primary election ballot.

Council had no choice but to pass it, said Law Director Anthony Farris, and then send it to the Mahoning County Board of Elections. The board will check to determine if the charter-amendment petitions contain enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Frack Free Mahoning Valley, the group behind the petitions, has about 4,000 signatures. The group needs 1,562 valid signatures to be placed in front of voters.

“It’s pretty awesome to see citizens engaged in the process over something they feel strongly about,” said Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th.

“The people did everything they needed to do and it will be up to the voters to decide,” added Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th.

The proposal includes language that would make it illegal to drill for gas and oil in the city.

Because the state has complete control over regulating fracking, however, Farris and other city officials said the charter-amendment proposal is “unforceable.”

Frack Free members disagree.

If the proposal gets on the ballot, the city could object to the legality of the issue, Farris said. No decision has been made.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1Metz10987(145 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

This amendment is meant to go around the state. If anyone actually reads it they will understand that. The ODNR and state has no right telling towns and communites they have no control on what happens in there. The drilling industry and Ohio Natrual Gas Association had alot to do with changing the laws in 2008. It is time to change them back to the way they where.

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21970mach1(1005 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Being that the guv wants to increase taxes on the oil and gas that is extracted by fracking, and then distribute the proceeds throughout Ohio, communities that ban fracking shouldn't get any of those tax proceeds.

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3Bman(151 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Does anyone in this "youngstown citizens group" even live inside the City of Youngstown?

Everytime I see this group on TV, it looks like a bunch of suburban, white liberals who have great middle class jobs, trying to impose their liberal will on everyone. These types of groups impoverish the very people that they would claim to be disadvantaged.

White middle class liberals groups hate poverty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....they just hate jobs, and people working at jobs, more than they hate poverty!

What does "Frack Free Mahoning Valley" care about driving the oil and gas industry out of Youngstown??? These people all have PhDs and great cushy positions!....does any sane person believe that a child of a member of this group stands to lose a job on an oil rig or injection well?

Great job Frack Free People!! Keep driving industry out of the area and that way you can all collect your salaries writing articles and books about how "all the jobs left the area" and that no one cares about Youngstown's poor and working poor!

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4Marathonman(2 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

You have to love Ytown's job creation attitudes. When I was a kid on the north side and would notice the brown air from the smokestacks, my dad would remind me that the day the air was clear would mean the steel mills were closed. Congratulations, Youngstown. Between your culture of corruption, liberal tax policies and pro-union mentality, you've created a hostile environment in which to do business.

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5republicanRick(1288 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

If this were to ever pass, turn out the lights Youngstown because you will be officially dead and buried.

We can put a fence up surrounding Youngstown to keep the residents from escaping into surrounding communities.

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6Ytownnative(1072 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Rape the land and sell the commodity overseas. Sell our souls for the almighty dollar. Do you think D&L is the only company doing what they did ? Do you think these companies give a rats behind about out area? They will take whatever they can from the area and leave a mess. These chemicals pollute drinking water that is a fact (google EPA report on fracking) they just want tell us how often. These chemicals stay around for generations. The pain at the pump is what the oblamer wants for the country. $8 gas so we flock to green energy that doesn't exist.

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7republicanRick(1288 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

People laugh at City of Youngstown residents and how dumb they are. Who else would live in blighted neighborhoods with rats and diseases.

With new-found mineral rights the city could transform itself into a desirable place to live. Instead, some kooky tree-huggers want to lay in bed and hide under the covers and do nothing but bitch.

It's a time of reckoning for the city. Let's see if they blow this golden opportunity to help themselves.

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8GeorgeinYoungstown(76 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I thought "conservatives" were all about local control?

At least there's still one who is, and I'm sure glad he's on the side of the people:


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9GeorgeinYoungstown(76 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Another term for what Hughes describes is the "Drilling Treadmill."

As well production dramatically drops, oil & gas corps need to drill more wells in order to keep up with false production projections intended to keep financial speculators satisfied.

And then, as Tim Ryan & Bill Johnson would have it, export it so that the price for the average consumer rises even higher, again for the benefit of corporate profit:

“The hype around shale gas is just that,” said David Hughes, a geologist and former research manager with the Geological Survey of Canada who authored the study, which was released on Tuesday.

It’s not that shale gas isn’t abundant, Dr. Hughes says, but that fracking only releases gas from a relatively small volume of rock. And apart from a few “sweet spots,” much of the overall reserve is of relatively marginal quality. Once the sweet spots are tapped out, continuing to get gas out of the ground at the current rate is going to require a vastly ramped-up effort with attendant environmental costs. The likely outcome, he says, is a decline in production and a rise in price, which means that expectations that gas will replace coal as an economically viable, cleaner burning alternative, or enable the U.S. to become a net exporter of liquid natural gas, are off base.

“Sometimes people get caught up in talking about the size of a resource when what they really need to be thinking about is the net energy yield,” Dr. Hughes said.


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