CELDF Now an 8-Time Loser re Youngstown Frack Ban Ballot Vote

Virulent anti-drillers in Youngstown, OH have now tried eight times to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot measure–and have failed all eight times, most recently on Tuesday. The local yokels from Youngstown working on the initiative are pawns, useful idiots, for an ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The CELDF is behind dozens of such efforts, none of which has been successful. The Youngstown ballot measure sought to ban fracking and ban any company related to the extraction of fossil fuels from operating in the city. The CELDF is also behind a number of bizarre lawsuits–like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). Truly nuts.
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CELDF Loses Yet Again – Toledo Anti-Fracking Measure Blocked

In September, MDN told you that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a ballot measure backed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) in Columbus, OH, a measure meant to ban fracking to send a “you’re not welcome” message to Utica drillers, is in fact illegal and will not appear on the November ballot (see OH Supreme Court Rules Columbus Anti-Utica Ballot Measure Illegal). The Ohio Supremes have ruled again, this time declaring a similar CELDF ballot measure in Toledo is also illegal.
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CELDF Finds New Group of Suckers in Columbus for Utica Frack Ban

The spirit of P.T. Barnum is alive and well in Columbus, OH where enough suckers have been tricked by the odious anti-fracking group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to sign a petition to get a misnamed “Community Bill of Rights” onto the ballot this November. It’s more of the same from the PA-based CELDF. The Bill of Rights is a document in direct contravention to the Ohio Constitution, which reserves the right to regulate oil and gas drilling to the state itself–not to local municipalities. Each time the CELDF has tried this nonsense in other locations it has failed. The CELDF ballot initiative in Youngstown has now been voted down by voters seven times (see Ohio Antis Suffer Big Election Defeats in Youngstown, Statewide). In those locations where CELDF-backed initiatives have passed, like Highland Township (Elk County, PA) and Grant Twp (Indiana County, PA), the measures were overturned by the courts (see Attorney for Anti Group CELDF Fined $52K for “Bad Faith”). But none of that matters to the SUCKERS in Columbus who have signed the latest CELDF petition…
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OH Towns Duped by CELDF Nervous Following PA Court Ruling

Svengali

Earlier this week MDN told you that Tom Linzey, the anarchist attorney who founded and runs the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), has been sanctioned by Federal Judge Susan Paradise Baxter and ordered to pay $52,000 to Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) for his “bad faith” in continuing to press legal arguments on behalf of Grant Township, in Indiana County, PA (see Attorney for Anti Group CELDF Fined $52K for “Bad Faith”). Not only that, Judge Baxter also referred the matter to the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with a request they review Linzey’s actions with an eye to imposing more punishments against him. Linzey is red hot with rage following the sanctions imposed on him–claiming he’ll sue everyone and everything to clear his good name. Thing is, Grant Township isn’t the only town Linzey has duped using his Svengali routine. There are others, in both PA and OH. Athens, OH is one of them. The so-called “Community Bill of Rights” adopted by Athens in 2014 is almost word for word the same exact language thrown out by Judge Baxter in PA. Which is giving folks around Athens pause. It’s making them nervous about what will happen if they get sued, as you can detect in the following story…
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Attorney for Anti Group CELDF Fined $52K for “Bad Faith”

Tom Linzey, the attorney who founded and runs the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), has just been sanctioned by Federal Judge Susan Paradise Baxter and ordered to pay $52,000 to Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) for his “bad faith” in continuing to press legal arguments on behalf of Grant Township (Indiana County, PA)–legal arguments that say the people of Grant have rights they actually don’t have. Linzey has continued to claim rights for the citizens of Grant that have no legal basis and have been discredited in court. Not only that, but Judge Baxter also referred the matter to the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court with a request that they review Linzey’s actions with an eye to imposing more punishments against him. We’ve previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania towns that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical CELDF into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns–Highland Twp (Elk County) and Grant Twp (Indiana County). The two townships thought they would do an end-run around the state’s authority to issue permits for two injection wells–one in each township, by re-incorporating under so-called home rule charters. The towns essentially declared themselves independent of the state for a variety of matters, including oil and gas permits, which PA state law clearly says is a function of ONLY the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. In March, the DEP issued final permits for the injection wells AND sued each town to get those portions of their home rule charters, dealing with oil and gas, overturned (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). Both towns eventually backed down (see 2 PA Townships Won’t Enforce “Home Rule” Against Injection Wells). However, in May, Grant’s attorneys (i.e. Linzey) filed a counter-claim against PA asking Commonwealth Court to recognize a sort-of extra-judicial set of rights the town can exercise over top of, or in addition to, state laws–instead of their previous position of trying to replace state laws (see CELDF Continues to Agitate Against Indiana, PA Injection Well). The company building the injection wells, PGE, has been economically harmed by the actions of the towns and attorney Linzey, and sued to recoup costs. This decision in part satisfies that lawsuit. The judge, in very strong language, is punishing Linzey for his continued, intentional abuse of the legal system. We note she is not punishing the towns but rather Linzey…
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CELDF Ballot Measure Seeks to Ban Utica Shale in All of Ohio

The ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is devoted to stirring up anarchy and lawlessness, not only in Pennsylvania but elsewhere, like Ohio. CELDF has launched a campaign to amend the Ohio State Constitution. Two CELDF ballot initiatives (full text below) would amend the Constitution to make it legal for local communities to usurp the state’s role in regulating oil and gas. We’ve written plenty about the CELDF, which is behind a number of bizarre lawsuits like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). One of the CELDF Ohio ballot initiatives would give ecosystems standing as people. Yeah, out there. CELDF hasn’t been able to get these kinds of ballot measures passed in Youngstown. They’ve tried and failed six times (see Youngstown, OH Frack Ban Ballot Measure Defeated for 6th Time). If they can’t get it passed once in a single municipality, what makes them think it will pass statewide? Who knows?! They obviously have money to burn and will do so in an effort to pass these two horrible amendments to the State constitution. The net effect of passing them would be to shut down Utica Shale drilling in many locations, and block pipelines in most locations. Passing these initiatives would bring chaos and disaster to the state. We seriously doubt Ohio’s politicians will let it happen–but then we just suffered through eight years of Barack Hussein Obama and a Congress that refused to make him obey the law. So anything can happen, which is why we’re raising the alarm. The unfortunate news is that Ohio’s Attorney General, a RINO, has “certified” both ballot initiatives. What that means is that if the nutters from CELDF get at least 305,591 signatures, the two initiatives will go on the ballot next November. Are there at least 305,591 whack jobs in the Buckeye State? We’re about to find out…
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CELDF Continues to Agitate Against Indiana, PA Injection Well

We previously reported on the story of two Pennsylvania towns that were either hoodwinked, or perhaps willing led astray, by the radical Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) into passing (now overturned) bans on fracking and injection wells in their towns–Highland Twp (Elk County) and Grant Twp (Indiana County). The two townships thought they would do an end-run around the state’s authority to issue permits for two injection wells, one in each township, by re-incorporating under so-called home rule charters. The towns essentially declared themselves independent of the state for a variety of matters, including oil and gas permits, which the PA state constitution clearly says is a function of ONLY the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. In March, the DEP issued final permits to each town, and at the same time sued each town to get those portions of their home rule charters, dealing with oil and gas, overturned (see PA DEP Issues 2 Wastewater Injection Well Permits, Sues 2 Towns). The towns agreed to “stand down” and, during their lawsuits, not oppose the DEP’s permits for the injection wells (see 2 PA Townships Won’t Enforce “Home Rule” Against Injection Wells). We thought that would be the end of it. But no, it seems in Grant Township the so-called leaders of the town continue to be brainwashed by the CELDF. In May, Grant’s attorneys filed a counter-claim against PA asking Commonwealth Court to recognize a sort-of extra-judicial set of rights the town can exercise over top of, or in addition to, state laws (instead of their previous position of trying to replace state laws). Unfortunately the judge is willing to give them some rope. Here’s an update on the CELDF anarchist-backed challenge happening in Grant–a threat to our very Constitutional form of self-government…
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Youngstown Antis Seek to Legalize Anarchy with 7th CELDF Petition

A nation without laws is not a nation. Virulent anti-drillers in Youngstown, OH have now tried six times to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot measure–and have failed all six times, the most recent last November (see Youngstown, OH Frack Ban Ballot Measure Defeated for 6th Time). The local yokels are pawns, useful idiots, for an ultra-radical group from Pennsylvania called the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The CELDF is behind dozens of such efforts, none of which has been successful. The CELDF is also behind a number of bizarre lawsuits–like the one claiming that an ecosystem is a “person” with rights (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). The CELDF has the local anti yokels in Youngstown amped up again–circulating a seventh petition for a ballot measure. But this time is different. In addition to the usual no fracking, no pipelines pablum, this petition has language that makes it legal to break the law. You read that right. If the ballot measure were to pass, and if an anti got it into her head to sit in front of a bulldozer that was about to clear ground for a wellpad, or dig a trench for a pipeline, the police would not be able to arrest and remove the anti. It would be within her rights to sit there and block legal, legitimate activity–all in the name of saving the planet. Apparently the brains of the locals are so fried, they don’t realize that if everyone just decides which laws they want to obey or disobey, you soon descend into Lord of the Flies. Mob rule. Anarchy…
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Federal Court Denies CELDF’s Re-Hearing Request in Grant Twp Case

exclusiveWe believe this bit of news is exclusive to MDN–we’ve not seen it anywhere else, yet. In early August MDN reported that the novel legal argument offered by the radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) in Grant Township (Indiana County), PA claiming to represent a local ecosystem had failed (see CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed). The CELDF tried to claim the Little Mahoning Watershed, an ecosystem, is a “person” under the law–an asinine notion. The CELDF had hoodwinked local anti-drillers in Grant who are opposed to a legally-permitted injection well, attempting to block the well from getting built and operated by Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE). Claiming they speak for the ecosystem was the legal shenanigan the CELDF tried to pull–and it didn’t work. The federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their arguments, clearing the way for PGE to build the injection well and continue with a $1 million lawsuit against Grant for causing economic harm to the company. Here is the new and exclusive news: The CELDF, masquerading as the Little Mahoning Watershed (the “ecosystem”), along with CELDF’s sibling organization called East Run Hellbenders Society, immediately petitioned the full Third Circuit (all of the justices) asking for a rehearing–something called a Sur Petition for Rehearing. The CELDF wanted another bite at the apple–a chance to prove to other justices that the Little Mahoning Watershed is a “person” under the law and should be represented by the crazies at the CELDF. The justices of the Third Circuit unanimously and swiftly rejected the petition for rehearing. It’s the end of the road for the CELDF and Grant Township in this case, which means the PGE injection well will now get built, and Grant Township taxpayers will have to pony up $1 million (if PGE wins their lawsuit, as we expect they will)…
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CELDF Loses Case to Represent Ecosystem – Turtles Disappointed

Gavel-falling.jpgScore an important victory against the forces of darkness. The radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) does its best to trick townships into passing illegal bans on fracking and injection wells. In 2013 the CELDF fooled Highland Township in Elk County, PA into passing a ban on wastewater injection wells. They also tricked Grant Township in Indiana County, PA to do the same thing. Both towns are in court defending their illegal actions. One of the idiotic legal tactics used by the CELDF in both cases is to claim that an ecosystem is a “person” under the law–a person who can file to join the town’s lawsuit in an effort to protect itself (see It Speaks! An “Ecosystem” has Filed to Join a Lawsuit in PA). Of course the CELDF appoints itself as the representative of said ecosystem. It’s an asinine notion. Will the tree in my front yard sue me for cutting a branch off it? Will my gravel driveway sue me if I decide to pave it? Get real. Back to declaring victory. Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) filed a lawsuit against Grant Township for $1 million for blocking construction of PGE’s legally permitted injection well. That CELDF has already said it won’t help Grant taxpayers foot the bill if they lose the lawsuit–after adopting the CELDF’s very own ban language (see Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement). Last week the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in PA ruled that a so-called ecosystem (the Little Mahoning Watershed) does NOT have standing in the case, completely rejecting the CELDF and their arguments. Grant Township taxpayers should be prepared to open up their wallets, they’re about to get soaked (note that the CELDF has already snuck out of town)…
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PA-Based CELDF Looks for New Dupes in Meigs County, OH

CELDF logoWe’ve written plenty in the past about the PA-based radical anti-drilling group called CELDF–Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (see our CELDF stories here). CELDF seems to have a lot of success in tricking people in Ohio into believing they can pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights to ban fracking, injection wells, etc.–illegal under Ohio state law. When such legislation is passed and then gets challenged, it loses in court. Every time. And when private companies sue for damages, taxpayers end up footing the bill and the CELDF is nowhere to be found (see Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement). The CELDF is trying their trickery again–this time in Meigs County, OH and in the City of Waterville (in Meigs County). As Forrest Gump said: Stupid is as stupid does…
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Anti Group CELDF Won’t Help Grant Twp Pay $1M Judgement

Question: How will Grant Township (Indiana County, PA), a town with 741 people in it, pay a lawsuit it may lose awarding Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE) $1 million? Going by the law of averages, less than half of the 741 people actually pay taxes (the other half are welfare slugs). So the question is, how can something like 200 families come up with enough money to pay such a large lawsuit? Answer: they can’t. The town goes bankrupt. That is the very real situation facing the residents of Grant Township. You may recall we’ve written about this before. Grant tried to block PGE from building a wastewater injection well in the township by passing an illegal law stirred up and proposed by the odious Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF (see Fed Judge Overturns Grant Twp, PA Ban on Injection Wells). The town has now tried to reorganize in order to avoid the judge’s ruling (see Grant Twp, PA Reorganizes to Avoid a Court-Ordered Injection Well). PGE has sued the town claiming (truthfully) they’ve suffered at least $1 million in damages. That case goes to trial in March. If the town loses, the town pays. The cowardly CELDF has admitted they won’t contribute a penny toward the $1 million fine if the case goes against the town. Nice friends the people of Grant have made in the CELDF, wouldn’t you say?…
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Youngstown Halloween Scare: the CELDF Ballot Initiative

HalloweenHere’s something that should scare the #$%@ out of you this Halloween: the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). The CELDF, based in Pennsylvania, is attempting to interfere in other states like Ohio by fleecing local governments into believing they can pass so-called community bill of rights legislation (i.e. “home rule” laws). Problem is, the local communities who have tried it keep getting sued, and losing in court–and taxpayers end up paying tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in an empty gesture to make a statement opposing shale energy. Our friends at Energy in Depth have put together a video for this Halloween that exposes the CELDF and should scare you to death, especially if you live in Youngstown, OH where a CELDF ballot initiative will be on the ballot this November (next week), for the FIFTH TIME…
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CELDF Tries to Shut Down GreenHunter’s OH Injection Wells

The radical leftist PA-based group Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is making mischief in neighboring Ohio. The CELDF is using some of its millions of Big Green dollars to file a lawsuit against Meigs County, OH Commissioners because the commissioners refuse to put an illegal ballot measure up for a vote in November. The CELDF pressured the citizens of Highland Township in Elk County, PA in 2013 to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights–the same kind of law they want Meigs County to adopt (see today’s companion story about the ecosystem that speaks). Meigs County already has two injection wells recently brought online by GreenHunter Resources, with plans to bring another two online in the near future (see GreenHunter Brings 2 New Injection Wells Online in Meigs County, OH). GreenHunter has built out a barge terminal along the Ohio River in Meigs County where they plan to unload barged brine for disposal (see GreenHunter Resources 1Q15: Bets the Ranch on OH Injection Wells). The CELDF so-called Community Bill of Rights would stop GreenHunter’s injection wells and the barge terminal from operating. Can you imagine the lawsuits and the amount of money Meigs County residents would have to pay out if that happened? It would likely bankrupt the county. Meigs County commissioners rightly seek to protect the citizens they were elected to represent from this horrific economic apocalypse. And so now, the CELDF is suing Meigs commissioners because they won’t allow the ballot measure to proceed…
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PA’s CELDF Unmasked as Troublemakers in Ohio Utica Shale

Energy in Depth is out with a dynamite expose that rips the face off the Pennsylvania-based anti-drilling organization behind much of the anti-drilling mischief happening in Ohio. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) seeks to ban fracking and anything to do with it, like pipelines, in every community with a sympathetic (and undiscerning) ear. CELDF founder, Thomas Linzey, is a real piece of work. EID’s expose shines the light on the unapologetic Linzey and his outrageous assertions–like instead of humans having rights he thinks nature should have rights. In fact, the potty-mouthed Linzey says, on camera (watch the video) that there should be a ballot initiative that bans all finance companies in New York City from funding new projects “that exasperate climate change.” Talk about a Cuckoo Bird. The worst part is Linzey’s arrogance and smugness–he really believes this stuff, and he believes he’s better (and smarter) than you and me. He’s on a mission to tear apart this country and our Constitution from the inside out to further his radical environmental agenda. Here, read and listen for yourself…
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CELDF Costing Towns Big $ With Losing Pipeline/Drilling Bans

Communities that attempt to block pipelines (and drilling) with illegal so-called community rights ordinances that seek to block those activities are losing in court and, in at least some of the cases, taxpayers in those communities end up paying the legal fees for the pro-drilling side. That’s the good news we find in an article by a PBS “reporter” (we’d call her an anti-drilling propagandist) writing on the StateImpact Pennsylvania website. To the small group of fossil fuel-hating nutters in Conestoga Township (Lancaster County), PA, you may want to consider the considerable cost of launching yet another campaign funded by outsiders Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), the shadowy group behind much of this mischief. Be sure to ask the CELDF if they’re willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees if you lose (as you surely will) a legal challenge to a pipeline ban in the township. Make them put their money where their huge mouth is…
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