Western PA Township Residents Try to Ban Gas Drilling

Several thousand residents of Peters Township, a small township in Washington County, Pennsylvania, are attempting to force a ban of all natural gas drilling in the township by amending the township’s charter. It’s not clear whether or not the town council will allow a vote on the proposed measure:

Peters Township in Washington County, population 21,213, is home to the Peters Township Marcellus Shale Awareness Group, an activism group formed after residents viewed Josh Fox’s anti-fracking documentary "GasLand."

PTMSA collected 2,422 signatures to place their Home Rule Charter amendment on the ballot on November 8 of this year, asking the question below.

"Should the Peters Township Home Rule Charter be amended to add Section 1.04 “The Peters Township Bill of Rights”, which enumerates the right to water, the rights of natural communities, the right to a sustainable energy future, and the right to self-government; and which secures those rights by banning corporate gas extraction within the Township and subordinating corporate rights to the rights of Peters Township residents?”

On Monday night, however, the town council will vote to decide whether the question will even appear on the ballot.*

If the measure is voted on and passed, an expensive legal challenge is sure to follow. Notice, once again, the reference in the proposed language to a “sustainable energy future” enumerating it as a “right.” Anyone still want to challenge MDN’s observation that most of the opposition to drilling comes not from science but an ideological viewpoint?

*The Raw Story (Sep 12, 2011) – Penn. township challenges fracking with ballot initiative