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Youngstown fracking ban on ballot for 3rd time



Published: Sat, April 12, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A citizen-initiative charter amendment to ban fracking in Youngstown is back on the ballot for the third time in a year.

City voters rejected the proposal in May and Novem- ber 2013. It lost by 13.7 percentage points the first time and by 9.7 percentage points in November.

After each defeat, members of the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights Committee, which collected signatures on petitions to get the charter amendment on the ballot, vowed to return time and time again.

But they’re hesitant to commit to a fourth time if the proposal is rejected again.

“I’m not going to say that; I’m not thinking about a fourth time right now,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, a committee member. “I don’t think we’ll have to be back again.”

Mike Chadsey, spokesman for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, said of those backing the initiative: “These are good people with bad information. You put it on the ballot once and you look like concwerned citizens. A second time and you look like activists. A third time and you look out of touch.”

But those backing the bill say fracking supporters are ignoring the dangers of hydraulic fracturing.

“The gas and oil industry doesn’t have concerns about public safety,” Beiersdorfer said.

Opponents of the fracking ballot proposal outspent supporters $61,000 to $8,000 in May 2013 and $82,000 to $4,000 in November.

As they did the last two times, the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment — consisting of union officials, business leaders, attorneys and politicians, and coordinated by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber — also question the legality of the charter amendment.

It is too far-reaching, and unenforceable as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has control over fracking in the state, coalition members say.

“The fight is with the state and not with us,” said David Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, an attorney and coalition member.

The proposal gives any city resident “the authority to enforce this law through an action in equity” in court, the ballot issue reads.

Despite not being enforceable, if the amendment is passed it will greatly harm the city’s reputation as a place that is business-friendly to the oil and gas industry, said Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally.

“This charter amendment would serve as a job killer,” he said.

“It will chase away good-paying manufacturing jobs,” the mayor added.

Beiersdorfer said some of the jobs involved with fracking including those that store or transport wastewater or fracking water shouldn’t be wanted by city officials.


Comments

1UticaShale(854 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Boardman, can Frack, Canfield can Frack, Poland can Frack, Liberty can Frack, everyone can Frack, CASH in and have PASSIVE INCOME for decades. NO, not Youngstown if the Professors of Youngstown State University have their way. They and their little ilk only want the POOREST of the POOR, the poor Blacks, the poor Latinos, the poor Whites only who live in Youngstown will have THEIR MINERAL RIGHTS taken away from them. The POOR of Youngstown for a third time are having THEIR rights on the line by a few radicals.

VOTE NO AND KEEP YOUR MINERAL RIGHTS FOR YOURSELVES!

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2CE_OSU(2 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am currently a fourth year chemical engineering student at the Ohio State University, and I am from the city of youngstown. I plan to work in the oil industry after graduation, and learned about all aspects of the industry while in school.

I would like to ask yourself a question. Who are the customers of American universities? At first glance you may think the students, but you would be incorrect. The customers of american universities are the companies located all around the world. They provide institutions with what they need in an employee, and the universities deliver them a product (a graduate).

Currently in the United States the majority of new jobs for the brightest individuals within our country are in the oil industry. This is not something that can be argued. Everyday I am with hundreds of students like myself. We share every aspect of our future careers with one another. We share salary, location, hours, and even who we may of know to obtain the position. AMERICAN and FOREIGN *OIL* (not every industry is hiring) companies throw dollar signs at us like we are the next Lebron James.

America needs these talented individuals to work in our country. They need them to make money for our country. We need to believe that we can extract the oil from our land in a way that is safe and efficient. I could talk to you for hours explaining why oil extraction is safe, and will not damage land or water other than the physical space it will take up for plants, wells, etc. I know because I research it. Scientifically. I understand the process. I used a different approach to oppose this bill because most people who oppose the bill do not understand who they are hurting. If I ever want to return to the city of Youngstown, and work as a chemical engineer it will be in the oil industry. Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana, California, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania will always be there to offer me a job, but it will be up to the people in Ohio to allow me to work in my hometown ever again.

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3UticaShale(854 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

CeOSU, Wow! Finally some brains that drained looking to return. Finally, even just common sense speaking up against the ignorant of the Valley. Young man, you are right on, and the Hope for Ohio. As a young man once coming out of engineering training, I too was pumped about my generation's future. I got my start with Reagan's rearming of America and advancement in nuclear shipbuilding.
Yes, your future is right IN YOUR HOMETOWN. Youngstown and eastern Ohio is the only shale wet gas field in the world today. Unlike the Bakken, Eagleford, or Marcellus, your birthright zone is wet gas, and you being a CE student understand this.

Currently for your generation the energy company's are building VAST infrastructures in this zone, cryogenics plants, fractionators and pipelines to harvest this Ohio wealth.

What you and the young brains of Ohio must do, is help us educate the masses here in eastern ohio. As you can read on the blogs here, The brain drain in your hometown, has left us with low information people, who are being exploited to fight energy production. Low information people, that are being used by the very same countries that had America addicted to their crude for decades. Fracking, is state-of-the-art and American ingenuity unmatched for now, embrace it, fight for it, or America's economic power continues the spiral down.

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4TomSays(5 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Earthquakes Earthquakes Earthquakes - let's continue to destroy our underground environment and ruin this earth for our future generations! Vote to ban Fracking in Youngstown.

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5oh13voter(1205 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

The development of shale does not cause environmental ruin. This is all just fear mongering used to promote a nonsensical piece of legislation.
If you have to use fear tactics to promote your point it instead of promoting the benefits then people should see that it isn't worth voting for.
Fear is all the pro charter amendment folks have, they have never been willing to discuss the "merits" of the amendment. That's because there are none.

Vote No May 6th

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6exlonghorn(35 comments)posted 5 months ago

Forget Youngstown... too many people happy with status quo. However, the Youngstown tail wags the Mahoning County dog. In spite of numerous permits for horizontel wells issued over the last two years, there has been very little activity in Mahoning County. Look at what is occuring in Columbiana County to the South and Trumbull County to the North. I predict that for several reasons, there will never be significant oil/gas drilling in Mahoning County, Charter Ammendment or not.

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