Looks like it was only a tiny minority of vocal people who wanted a complete ban on gas drilling in Peters Township (Washington County), PA after all. The measure was put on the ballot over the objections of the town council who believe it would have brought a costly lawsuit from drilling companies. The question of whether or not the measure would appear on the November ballot went to court and a judge allowed it to go forward (see this MDN story). The ballot measure includes language that the township has “the right to a sustainable energy future.” Not sure what planet those folks live on!
So the measure was on the ballot yesterday and the results are in:
Marcellus made its most obvious mark on Western Pennsylvania ballots in Peters, where voters appeared to resoundingly defeat a referendum banning all new drilling by 82 percent to 18 percent with 165 of 184 precincts reporting.
"We got creamed," said drilling opponent Rod Fletcher of Peters. "Actually, I don’t think anyone going into this had any doubt considering the campaign put on by the Republicans and the gas industry."*
*Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Nov 9, 2011) – Ban on new gas drilling rejected by Peters voters