Politicians, business, labor form group to oppose anti-fracking amendment

YOUNGSTOWN — A number of local political, business and organized labor officials and groups have re-formed the Mahoning County Coalition for Job Growth and Investment in an effort to again defeat an anti-fracking ballot initiative in Youngstown.

The group announced it was reorganizing today, a day after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision he county board of elections exceeded its authority by rejecting the initiative to the May 8 ballot. The court ordered the board to place the proposal back on the ballot.

The proposal calls for a ban on fracking and anything related to the extraction of fossil fuels in the city. Youngstown voters have rejected similar ballot measures six times going back to 2013.

In a statement released today by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which helped spearhead the committee, the coalition wrote the proposed charter amendment “will drive away local jobs and opportunity, put a ‘closed-for-business’ sign on the city and [Mahoning] Valley, and could subject the city to costly lawsuits that taxpayers would have to fund.”

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