WV City Votes to Ban Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, Court Challenge Coming from Chesapeake Energy

City council members from Wellsburg, West Virginia, located in the panhandle area of the state (in Brooke County), on Tuesday voted to ban natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing both inside the city limits and outside city limits within a mile.

The ban has already taken effect in Wellsburg after a 4-3 vote from Wellsburg’s City Council earlier this week.

Wellsburg Mayor Sue Simonetti cast the deciding vote Tuesday night since two Council members were absent because of illnesses.  "Once the water source is gone, it is done, so we have to protect the residents and our water supply," the mayor said of the decision.

Officials with Chesapeake Energy had objected to the proposed ban and are expected to challenge it.*

*West Virginia MetroNews Network (May 11, 2011) – West Virginia City Bans Gas Drilling And Fracking