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Charter amendment is activism gone too far



Published: Wed, May 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

I am an environmentalist, geologist, scientist and educator who has devoted most of my professional career to investigating and solving water-quality issues throughout Northeast Ohio.

Over the past two years, I have concentrated much of my efforts on educating individuals, communities, business representatives and political leaders about shale-gas exploration and development and the associated environmental risks that come with it.

Environmentalists come from all walks of life and, just like anything else, their beliefs cover a wide spectrum. Individuals at one end of the spectrum practice conservation, and individuals at the other end practice environmental activism.

Environmental activists and extremists believe that environmental risk is unacceptable at any level and all activities that pose potential risks to the environment must be eliminated. The residents of the city of Youngstown should have the right to allow or refuse oil and gas activity within their city limits. However, Youngstown’s proposed charter amendment, or what is often referred to as the “Community Bill of Rights,” is the wrong way to go about securing this right and is a clear example of environmental activism gone too far.

The proposed charter amendment will appear on the May 7 primary election ballot. Although the ballot issue is an excellent example of democracy in action, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing because it sets out to do far different things than what it suggests and, if passed, can ultimately prove to be very costly to the city and its residents.

Reading the details of the proposed charter amendment and understanding the motivation of its proponents are essential to all voters who go to the polls May 7. The full text of the ballot issue is available online through the Mahoning County Board of Elections website.

I urge all residents of Youngstown to take a close look at the proposed amendment and question the motivation of its primary sponsor, the Frackfree America National Coalition. This local organization has a national agenda, and its members and supporters hope to use Youngstown to draw attention to their organization and further its mission of stopping the development of shale- energy resources across the country. In reality, their objectives have little to do with Youngstown and a lot to do with promoting their organization.

What exactly does the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights expect to achieve? The text of the amendment demonstrates the measure goes far beyond banning shale-gas activity in Youngstown. For example, Item B of the amendment suggests that with the right to clean air; all toxins, carcinogens, particulates and other substances known to cause harm to health would be banned from the air of Youngstown.

By definition, this measure would outlaw factory emissions and the operation of all internal combustion engines. Consider Item J-2: This would make it illegal to deposit, store or transport any fluids used in the production of gas or oil in the city of Youngstown. This measure is unenforceable as it would seemingly require the establishment of vehicle check points at all highways leading into and out of Youngstown and along Interstate 680.

I’m not a constitutional scholar, but doesn’t this violate the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution?

The promise of clean water, clean air and clean jobs is something everyone desires. The authors of the proposed charter amendment masquerade the measure as a pro-environment bill, when in reality it is a ploy to bring attention to their environmental activist group. If the bill was to pass, it would briefly shine the national spotlight on the Frackfree America National Coalition at the expense of Youngstown taxpayers as they foot the bill for the lengthy legal challenges that will follow and ultimately defeat the measure.

The citizens of Youngstown should have the right to permit or deny fracking in their city, but with this example of environmental activism gone too far, the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights achieves nothing of the kind.


Comments

1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Whoever you are, thank you for taking the time to write a reasonable, thoughtful, logical, and balanced point-of-view regarding the May 7 charter amendment.

For this effort, you will be vilified, name-called, and stereotyped as anti-environmental and pro-big business. You will be branded as a shill for the gas and oil industry.

Your appeal to voters to actually READ the charter amendment will be viewed as an affront by those activists who thrive on fear-mongering and emotional appeals devoid of proven evidence, as opposed to individuals who quietly work towards meaningful discourse and collaborative solutions on maintaining a balance between economic growth and environmental safety.

My sympathies for what some people will call you and your article, but keep up the good fight for this area's economic and environmental well-being.

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2oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

As the writer suggests, all one has to do is read the charter amendment to see that it has a much larger agenda. That implementation of the charter amendment would and the agenda would open up a Pandora's box of consequences.

VOTE NO MAY 7TH !

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3oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

Yes, and there were all those professionals that pushed global warming, and as we know that was a hoax, and they were shown to be frauds. Including making things up, remeber the hockey stick graph ?

The same is true with this scare campaign about horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. It is promoted by frauds.

You have often referred to doctors and other professional that oppose shale development. Yet you never use cite them by name. Could it be that you know they have been exposed as frauds just as those that supported the global warming hoax?

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4oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

Talk of hilarious, Dr Ingraffea is a laughing stock for bending statistics to prove his well known bias against oil and gas development. His work has been debunked even by people who should support him. He has no credibility at all. Don't get me started on Dr Cowden It's no wonder that you hid your sources for so long. Even the environmental left don't cite them any longer.

The money won't come to me or benefit me personally . However, it will benefit the poor and unemployed of Youngstown. But what do you care about them ? You have yours don't you ?

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5oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Proponents of the charter amendment are hypocrites. They talk about "green jobs" and sustainable energy sources. Yet they all work in jobs that consume fossil fuels to operate, hypocrites.
They all drive cars, they all heat their homes with energy produced by fossil fuels, they eat food produced with fossil fuels on and on and on. Can you say big time hypocrites.

Now they presume to dictate to the citizens of Youngstown that they should live a green life. In order to begin that green life the citizens of Youngstown must pass this charter amendment. After a day of campaigning and spreading their lies they retreat to their suburban homes leaving behind the poor and unemployed of Youngstown. HYPOCRITES !

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6oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

The problem with Dr. Colborns work is that it doesn't mean anything.

She fed massive doses of certain additives found in frac fluid to mice. After being fed massive doses even I could tell you what would happen, the mice got sick. Wow she's brilliant.

When asked if occasional exposure would present a health hazard she said no.

So do workers or everyday citizens consume massive amounts of anything in frac fluid ? No. Therefore she has proved nothing.

If you drink a bottle of Dawn dish liquid and become sick should we conclude that Dawn be removed from grocery store shelves.

Letters don't mean squat, I write letters all the time that doesn't make me an expert in anything. Where is the scientific research these people have done to back up their opinions.

Now I know why you have with held your sources. They have all been discredited.

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7oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

The letter is exactly as you described, one of concern. Children are concerned about the dark until an adult shows them everything is ok. Perhaps there should have been an adult present when the letter was written.

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8oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

Never said those chemicals are good for you. There just is no proof that they enter the water supply due to hydraulic fracturing.

Again, I did not say that drinking or breathing dangerous chemicals is beneficial. But there is no proof that this occurs due to hydraulic fracturing.

No proof that hydraulic fracturing will cause earthquakes here in OH.

The letter from the doctors offers no proof of their concerns therefore it means nothing.

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9oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

This charter amendment was not written by citizens of Youngstown. It was written by outside groups with a national agenda, Youngstown is just a cog in their machinery.

Therefore it is disingenuous for anyone to claim the charter amendment is a Bill of Rights for the citizens of Youngstown.

The citizens of Youngstown would be better served to work with the Mayor, members of Council, state representative, and state senator.

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10oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

Here is some twist free information about Dr. Ingraffea. He and Dr. Howarth, both from Cornell.

In 2011 Ingraffea and Howarth issued a paper on a "study" they produced on shale gas and greenhouse gas . It has been repeatedly criticized by their peers, and debunked by actual experts in the field, for being a poor piece of work

Here is what Cornell colleague Lawrence Cathies had to say"... Howarth's conclusion are unwarranted".

Paula Jaramillo from Carnegie Mellon whose work is funded, in part by the Sierra Club.
"We don't think they're (Howarth, Ingraffea) using credible data and some of the "assumptions" they are making are biased. ... the comparison they make in the end,...is wrong."

Michael Levi - "... the analysis is based on extremely weak data, and also has a severe methodological flaw... all of which means that the bottom line conclusions shouldn't carry weight."

I could go on, and could post similar criticism of Dr.Colborn.

I am twisting nothing. The people you have cited have been discredited by their peers.

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11oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

It's called peer review in the scientific community. Dr.'s Ingraffea and Howarth had their work review by their peers and it failed.

The people on that list never proved that the chemicals in their blood came from hydraulic fracturing.

The earthquakes were not the result of hydraulic fracturing.

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12oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

If enacted the charter amendment would cause the city to waste millions of tax dollars defending itself against lawsuits.

For example - the amendment deprives landowners the right to develop their mineral rights. This would be similar to an action under eminent domain where the land owner is compensated for the taking of their property. Shouldn't city land owners be compensated for the taking of their mineral rights ?

Of course, but where will the money come from ? If the city decides it can't afford to pay lawsuits will be filed for recovery by land owners.

Help protect tax dollars and personal property rights, VOTE NO 7TH !

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13oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The charter amendment goes to far.

That is why the Mayor, Law Director and Council don't support it.

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14oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Big Lie # 1

Hydraulic Fracturing pollutes the water table.

A recent post above cited a study performed by researchers from Duke University. The post implies that hydraulic fracturing caused pollution of water wells in PA. The implication is false.

What isn't mentioned in the post is that the study concluded that the methane in the water WAS NOT THE RESULT OF HYDRO FRACING.

The study was also debunked for it's shoddy methodology. The researchers did not establish baseline readings to compare with those in the report. More than likely the gas occurred naturally in the wells, which is quite common in Susquehanna County PA where the study was performed.

There are several other flaws in the methodology, but you get the point.

To date; there have been no citations of pollution of water by hydraulic fracturing.

Debunking these lies is getting way too easy.

Help promote economic prosperity in Youngstown, VOTE NO MAY 7TH !

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15oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

Ms Fredericks is a fraud.

When she began her campaign against shale development there wasn't a horizontally drilled, hydraulically fraced well well within 50 miles of her home.

She hadn't reported her claims to the health department.

She didn't report her claims to the ODNR.

She didn't have her water tested.

Her property value has been reduced due to the re-valuation performed by the County, not due to a horizontally drilled, hydraulically fraced well. It couldn't be that anyway since there isn't one near her home.

As for Dr. Ingraffea, I've debunked him before.

Don't believe the misinformation, protect the rights of the citizens of Youngstown, VOTE NO MAY 7TH !

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16oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The woman admits that the DEP found no connection to fracing. The cause is "migratory" methane which is common in that area.
People live in areas of PA where there is no shale development and have migratory methane in their water. They too can light their water.

Even people owning small lots have received bonus money, and will receive royalties.

I must say that you fractivists are consistent. You spread as much misinformation as possible, hoping no one catches you.

Help bring the economic benefits of shale development to Youngstown, VOTE NO MAY 7TH !

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17oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,

A lie be perpetrated by omission , you continue to omit the DEP findings.

The DEP determined that shale development was not the cause of the methane in the water.

Come onnnn say it, Say It, SAY IT ! Shale development didn't cause the methane in the water.

Can't say it can you ? Know why? Liberals can't speak the truth.

Speaking of truth, the charter amendment will steal economic prosperity from the poor and unemployed of Youngstown,VOTE NO tomorrow MAY 7TH !

Ever notice that the supporters of the amendment never talk about helping the poor and unemployed, They don't care.

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18oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Congratulations Youngstown !
Better days will soon be here.

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19bseeker(2 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

@oh13voter: Only as long as the few are not benefiting at the expense of the many. Until then this tug of war will continue.

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20Mikeack31(1 comment)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

oh13voter I'm on your side. This poor "victim" ABC100 doesn't have an ounce of common sense. Poor, poor baby. We're all filling our wallets at your expense? GTFOH. That liberal, victimized mindset is ridiculous.

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21oh13voter(1201 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

ABC100,
The most important question not asked of the woman in the video is whether or not she accepts her royalty check> I bet she does, she is a hypocrite.

Words speak very loud. Your words brand you as a liberal not I or anyone else.

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