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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.


1formerdemliberal(181 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks 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(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks 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.


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3ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Who wrote this I wonder? I didn't see a name anywhere.

What they're doing is trying to make people who don't want to be poisoned seem extreme. Many geologists are against fracking and some even travel to speak about it. I tend to believe them as well as the doctors who speak about it.

The fact that many doctors joined together to make a facebook specifically for doctors against fracking says a lot. They have nothing to gain financially by doing this.

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4oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago


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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5ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh13voter....that's sort of a leap isn't it? Dr. Ingraffea is one that comes to mind as well as Dr. Cowden...both are very vocal on the issue of fracking.

The doctors against fracking facebook created by doctors pretty much speaks for itself. Tell me this...what do they have to gain by fighting this? Nothing. As for your side....you people are salivating at the thought of money coming into your hands. Plain and simple.

So you claim global warming is a hoax? That's hilarious.

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6oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago


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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7ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Dr. Theo Colborn is another, she is one of the main doctors finding that these chemicals are endocrine disruptors. She was honored by Time Magazine as one of their heroes of the environment.

Here is a link to a letter that 100 medical and public health professionals sent to the president to delay export terminals of fracked gas......


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8oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks 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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9ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Here's the link to the letter sent by 100 medical and public health professionals to the president....I had to x out of vindy to get it in my last post....


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10ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Again, Dr. Theo Colborn is one of the main doctors who has found that these chemicals are endocrine disruptors. She was one of Time Magazine's heroes of the environment.

And again....here is the link to the letter sent by 100 medical and public health professionals to the president....


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11ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh13voter....I know you're not Utica...because you're too calculating to be him. That being said, you sure are starting to sound like him. Trying to manipulate the people in Youngstown by pretending you're looking out for them. Geesh.

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12oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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13ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh13voter....the link has the names of 100 medical and public health professionals concerned, but of course....you think you know it all.

God Himself could speak and you'd misconstrue it in order to suit your own needs. All you do is twist info.

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14ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Your right oh13voter....I figured whipping out a link with 100 medical professionals names on it would hurt my cause. Haha. Actually....I usually am on my Tablet when i come on here and am not sure how to post links on it.

I had to switch to another computer to post that link just for you my lover.

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15oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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16ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh13voter...perhaps you could of stood by them and advised them how benzene, touline, methane, xylene etc is good for you. These medical professionals need to be schooled by you on the benefits of breathing and drinking dangerous chemicals and how living on a ravaged earth prone to earthquakes is the thing to do.

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17oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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18oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks 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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19oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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20ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh13voter... you can always find quotes from people putting down someone's finding....even you know that.

The people on The List of the Harmed who had these chemicals in their blood and urine answer all these questions in my eyes.

And as for earthquakes.....11 earthquakes wasn't proof enough to you that this causes them? What?

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21oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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22oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks 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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23ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Isn' this interesting Oh13? Duke University study found that methane levels were 17 TIMES more in wells located near hydrofracturing sites....


Vote YES May 7...don't let this crap happen to you. People as human beings deserve safe water.

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24oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The charter amendment goes to far.

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

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25oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks 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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26ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh13 just wants to line his pockets....why else would he care? He denounces any proof anyone posts. He is highly predictable.The rest of us who want it passed are concerned for the health of humans, animals and the earth we live on.

Look at this girl's story, she goes around speaking about what happened to her. Here she was drinking contaminated water and didn't even know it....she ended up with many health problems, to the point that she chose not to have children for fear of birth defects. The first video is her speaking about her health problems....the second i'll post is her talking about how their property value is now nothing.

I thank her for her courage and wish her well.....

Vote Yes May 7.


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27ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Second video of her talking about how their property value is now nothing. Vote Yes May 7. Protect yourself and your family.


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28ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Dr. Ingraffea exposing the truth....

Thank you Dr. Ingraffea for having the courage to tell the truth about fracking....


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29oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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30ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Look at this fracking nightmare.....this woman's water lights on fire. She has to keep windows open all year, even in the winter for air flow. Dangerous levels of methane.

Oh and trucks going back and forth everyday....STILL.

Plus, people in Youngstown don't even own acres of land...hello...they wouldn't get anything..


Vote Yes May 7...don't let this happen to you.

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31oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks 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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32ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh13....in regards to migratory methane...did you not hear the woman say that it tested at .01 mg per liter before they leased....and since all of this NOW tests at 64?

Of course you heard her. You're so transparent...seriously, it's sickening. For anyone who'd like to see PROOF of her saying this...she says it while they're by the sink talking.

You can see the regret in her eyes...I feel bad for them. Vote YES May 7

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33ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The woman DOES NOT admit that. Liar.

Within days her water changed into fizzy water. Chesapeake came out and within 3 to 5 seconds she said their monitor alarmed them of high methane levels.

DEP then tested and found 56.3 mg per liter. Anything over 3 they recommend a ventilation system

Chesapeake installed this ventilation system...but no monitor. Why would they do this if they are not at fault?

Come onnnnnn.

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34oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago


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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35ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

She never stated that the DEP said that.....stop lying???

Secondly, the people in Youngstown wouldn't get anythingik. If they did, it would be so small..basically something you'd take to Target and buy a few things with. Y

Thirdly....only people with lots of acreage really have any decent money to gain...and even then they wish they hadn't signed. Like the woman in the video. She regrets ever signing and her life has been turned upside down. She lives in a poison factory now basically.


As far as jobs....they have people from Texas over her doing the jobs. You know this. They are everywhere....some aren't even legal citizens. There is an article i'll find where an illegal was arrested from one of these companies trying to lure a teenager into his truck. They all do this....hire illegals so they can pay them on the cheap. Stop your lying Oh13....my God, you are sick.

Stop trying to take advantage of people.

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36oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Congratulations Youngstown !
Better days will soon be here.

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37bseeker(2 comments)posted 11 months, 2 weeks 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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38Mikeack31(1 comment)posted 11 months, 1 week 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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39ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

Look, whether you agree with me or not, Mikeack31....don't call me a liberal...you don't know me. I'm not a liberal.

The woman in the video who leased clearly regrets it. That can't be denied. You have the right to pretend that doesn't mean anything and that the proof isn't in the pudding.....but don't label me something i'm not. How asinine and quite frankly " follower'ish" of you. It's like you saw others refer to people against fracking as "liberals"and couldn't wait to fit in by typing it yourself.

You're right...it's awesome that this lady now has a huge fracking pad in her yard and has to keep her windows open year round because of how high the methane levels are now. It's pretty great that she has trucks going back and forth all day to the access road they claimed would be temporary, but obviously isn't. It's great that she has to buy 25 five gallon cases of water each month now.

I hope you lease and receive these same gifts :-)

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40oh13voter(1187 comments)posted 11 months ago

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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41ABC100(707 comments)posted 11 months ago

Oh13.... she better accept those checks, I mean heck, they ruined her home after all.

As for this liberal thing...you don't make any sense. I don't like fracking because of what I know about it, so I'm a " liberal" even though I have conservative views on most subjects. That makes no sense.

Stop pretending like you set the rules for who is what.

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