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Youngstown voters set to decide if fracking should be allowed in the city
Critics of the proposed fracking ban say that it would violate state law

Grant Engle
In The Region:

Voters in Youngstown will decide Tuesday whether to give the city control over fracking within city limits.

The amendment, known as the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights, would essentially outlaw the oil and gas drilling process.

But opponents like attorney Alan Wenger say the proposed fracking ban would violate state law. He says the amendment can’t trump state regulations and is too vague to be enforceable.

Wenger on proposed fracking ban

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“It doesn’t read like anything that could possibly be implemented and enforced. It is a political statement. It’s sort of like a manifesto.”

But Susie Beiersdorfer, a geologist with the committee that drafted the proposed amendment, says municipalities should have the right to ban a commercial process that could endanger citizens.

Beiersdorfer on fracking ban

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“State pre-emption of municipal self-government, when used to empower corporations with legal cover to violate rights for profit, is illegitimate.”

Beiersdorfer says fracking could impact Ohio residents' right to clean air and water.

Wenger argues that the proposed amendment doesn’t define those rights nor how fracking violates them.

Listener Comments:

It is very much up to the residents of Ohio and any other state for that matter to decide whether they will allow fracking to go on or not. A decision as important as this, and a matter that can and will affect the peoples lives, should be decided by the people. That is a true democracy!

Posted by: Talie (Toronto) on May 6, 2013 1:05AM
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