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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OH Injection Well that Caused OH Earthquakes Shutting Down Forever

In late December 2011 a 4.0 earthquake hit the Youngstown, OH area. It was the latest in a string of quakes that began in March 2011, shortly after a wasterwater injection well went online–the Northstar #1 well. In March 2012 the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) made a determination that indeed, it was the Northstar well that caused the quake–due to its location over an active fault (see ODNR Finds Youngstown Injection Well Caused Earthquakes). When you force liquid of any kind deep into the ground and into a fault (gigantic crack running through the rock layers), that liquid acts like grease allowing the rock layers to slip and slide, causing an earthquake. It’s a rare occurrence, at least in Ohio. Without recounting the entire sordid story, ownership of Northstar #1–originally owned by D&L Energy, whose owner was found guilty of illegal wastewater dumping unrelated to the injection well–the current owner has filed an application to permanently, and for all time, plug and close Northstar #1…
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Exterran Lost $228M in 2016 – No Mention of OH “Clawback”

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Exterran Corporation (with 5,400 employees) specializes in natural gas compression production equipment and processing facilities. They design, build and operate compressor stations and natural gas processing plants. In 2012 MDN reported on a contract Exterran won to build three natural gas processing plants in West Virginia (see Exterran Wins Contract to Build 3 WV NatGas Processing Plants). The company is also active in other Marcellus/Utica states, including Ohio. In 2013 the company opened a plant to build compressor stations in an industrial park near Youngstown, OH. The state gave the company a $300,000 grant in return for promises to create 103 jobs over a seven year period. Exterran came close for the first couple of years, but then the crash in prices hit and along with it, work dried up. The plant closed in March 2016, and as we previously reported, Ohio now wants “all or part of” the $300,000 grant back (see Ohio Wants to “Clawback” $300K Grant to TX-based Exterran Energy). Good luck with that. Exterran released their fourth quarter and full year 2016 update yesterday, and it shows the company lost $228 million last year…
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OH Anti Jailed, Pleads Guilty to 13 Felony Counts of Voter Fraud

One of the people behind the Big Green effort to pass a frack ban in Youngstown, OH (a measure that has now failed six times) has herself been arrested and has plead guilty to 13 felony charges of committing voter fraud. Rebecca Hammonds, a local organizer and employee of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, was sentenced to 180 days in jail this week after pleading guilty to 13 felony counts for false voter registration and election fraud in January. One of the charges had to do with her signing up dead people to vote. Do we need to say anything more about the dishonesty of the anti-drilling movement?…
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Ohio Wants to “Clawback” $300K Grant to TX-based Exterran Energy

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Exterran Corporation (with 5,400 employees) specializes in natural gas compression production equipment and processing facilities. They design, build and operate compressor stations and natural gas processing plants. In 2012 MDN reported on a contract Exterran won to build three natural gas processing plants in West Virginia (see Exterran Wins Contract to Build 3 WV NatGas Processing Plants). The company is also active in other Marcellus/Utica states, including Ohio. In 2013 the company opened a plant to build compressor stations in an industrial park near Youngstown, OH. The state gave the company a $300,000 grant in return for promises to create 103 jobs over a seven year period. Exterran came close for the first couple of years, but then the crash in prices hit and along with it, work dried up. The plant closed in March. Now the state wants “all or part of” the $300,000 grant back (called a “clawback”), because Exterran didn’t fulfill their end of the bargain. Exterran says the plant closure is “temporary,” implying they will be back…
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Youngstown, OH Frack Ban Ballot Measure Defeated for 6th Time

voted-downAs MDN reported in June, anti-drilling zealots in Youngstown, OH filed a petition to place a frack ban resolution on the November ballot–for the 6th time (see Brain Dead: Youngstown Antis File Petition for 6th Frack Ban Vote). The petition held up, there were just enough signatures. And once again yesterday, as the five times that preceded it, Youngstown voters rejected the misnamed, so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot measure–yet another humiliating defeat for the PA-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) which is behind the measure. The measure was voted down by an 11-point margin (i.e. landslide against it). As the five times before, recalcitrant antis say they will try yet again, and keep trying…
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Former D&L Injection Well in Ohio Goes Online “in a Big Way”

big-wayGood news for Marcellus/Utica drillers. You now have access to a previously-shuttered wastewater injection well in the Youngstown, OH-area. You may recall the sad story of D&L Energy, a Youngstown, OH operator of several wastewater injection wells. D&L’s owner was Ben Lupo, who also owned sister company Hardrock Excavating, operating both companies under the D&L Energy Group umbrella. In September 2012, Lupo instructed a Hardrock employee to dump untreated frack wastewater down a sewer drain that emptied into the Mahoning River. Lupo and the driver were found out in early 2013 (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) promptly shut down both D&L Energy and Hardrock in February 2013 (see OH Wastewater Dumper D&L Energy Gets Business Death Sentence). Both Lupo and the driver received prison sentences and fines for their role in this ignominious affair. One of the injection wells D&L drilled was located in Beaver Township, known as Northstar Lucky #4. The well never did begin operations because of the action shutting down D&L. D&L filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets in late 2013. The buyer of those assets, Denver-based Resource Land Holdings LLC, “expressed interest in operating the well in the future” and began work at the site to reopen the well in July (see Shuttered D&L Injection Well Near Youngstown, OH May Reopen Soon). The good news is that the well “has come back to life in a big way”…
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Youngstown OH Ready to Defeat Frack Ban Proposal for 6th Time

Groundhog DayThe longer we write MDN, the easier it gets–because the stories just keep repeating themselves. That’s how we felt when we spotted a story about the adults in Youngstown, OH pushing back against the temper tantrums of anti-fracking, childish nutters in the city who have, now for the sixth time, put a frack ban measure on the ballot for the November election. Five previous times the same group of rabid anti-fossil fuel haters have done this–and five times they have gone down to defeat (see MDN’s previous stories covering Youngstown ballot initiatives here). The antis waste everyone’s time and money by getting just enough fellow wackos to sign a petition to get the measure on the ballot each November. The adults in Youngstown must stay vigilant, so they held a rally Tuesday morning to announce opposition to the ballot measure. The mayor of Youngstown was there. So too were a number of union workers, Chamber of Commerce members, local businesses and supporters of the oil and gas industry in the Buckeye State. They were all there to recommend a “NO” vote on this asinine ballot measure, once again…
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Shuttered D&L Injection Well Near Youngstown, OH May Reopen Soon

Coitsville Township OHGood news for Marcellus/Utica drillers. There are signs that a Youngstown, OH-area injection well that has been shuttered since 2013 will re-open. You may recall the sad story of D&L Energy, a Youngstown, OH operator of several wastewater injection wells. D&L’s owner was Ben Lupo, who also owned sister company Hardrock Excavating, operating both companies under the D&L Energy Group umbrella. In September 2012, Lupo instructed a Hardrock employee to dump untreated frack wastewater down a sewer drain that emptied into the Mahoning River. Lupo and the driver were found out in early 2013 (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) promptly shut down both D&L Energy and Hardrock in February 2013 (see OH Wastewater Dumper D&L Energy Gets Business Death Sentence). Since that time the injection well operated by D&L in Coitsville Township has been offline. Both Lupo and the driver received prison sentences and fines for their role in this ignominious affair. D&L filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets in late 2013. The buyer of those assets, Denver-based Resource Land Holdings LLC, has “expressed interest in operating the well in the future” and has begun work at the site to reopen the well. That was enough to set off anti-drilling loonies in the region, who promptly protested at the well site…
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More Frack Ban Ballot Measures Coming to OH in November

voteA few days ago MDN told you about the fruitless efforts by anti-drilling zealots in Youngstown, OH in delivering a petition for a sixth vote on a frack ban measure for the November ballot (see Brain Dead: Youngstown Antis File Petition for 6th Frack Ban Vote). As we’ve pointed out, repeatedly, the Ohio Supreme Court has already ruled such “home rule” measures, if/when they get passed, are unconstitutional (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). Makes no difference. There are a number of other brain dead Ohioans in other communities too. Medina, Athens and Meigs counties have all had petitions filed for anti-fracking ballot measures in November, as well as the city of Waterville. There’s still an active petition being floated in Portgage County. Nutters popping up everywhere in the Buckeye State!…
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Brain Dead: Youngstown Antis File Petition for 6th Frack Ban Vote

flatlineHow many times will the antis who pretend to be concerned about people’s health, but really are irrationally afraid of emitting carbon (although they do it with every breathe), demand a vote on a frack ban in Youngstown that nobody wants? So far the loons have managed to fabricate enough signatures to get a frack ban measure on the ballot five times, most recently in November 2015 (see OH Supreme Court Puts Youngstown Anti-Frack Measure on Ballot). The ballot initiative has failed ALL FIVE TIMES. The Ohio Supreme Court tossed ballot initiatives in Ohio municipalities where it actually was passed (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). And yet….and yet the loons of Youngstown have done it again. They’ve fabricated enough signatures to get a frack ban initiative on the ballot for a sixth time. What do you call that? We call it brain dead…
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Jailed Ben Lupo Sued Again over OH Wastewater Dumping

lawsuitAn update on the notorious case of illegal frack wastewater dumping near Youngstown, OH that happened in 2012 and 2013. Ben Lupo, previous owner of D&L Energy and its associated company Hardrock Excavating, directed employees to dump frack wastwater hauled by Hardrock into a drain that emptied into a stream that emptied into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). It was later discovered that from September 2012 to end of January 2013, Lupo was responsible for dumping at least 30 loads of frack wastewater literally down the drain and into the river. After an investigation and charges, in August 2014 Lupo plead guilty and was sentenced to 23 months in prison and a $25,000 fine (see Final Chapter for Youngstown Illegal Wastewater Dumper: Prison & Fine). The company itself plead guilty and was fined $100,000 in May 2015 (see Hardrock Pleads Guilty to Illegal Wastewater Dumping, Fined $100K). That should have been the end of the story. But now this: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a civil lawsuit against Ben Lupo, two of his companies and three of his employees–for more than $25,000…
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Youngstown Frack Ban Measure Voted Down 5th Time in a Row

Five times the anti-drilling zealots of Youngstown have garnered enough signatures from dead folks and others to get a so-called Community Bill of Rights (i.e. ban fracking) measure on the ballot for a citywide vote. FIVE TIMES. And you know what? As of last Tuesday, the ballot measure has been voted down–FIVE TIMES. In a row. And yet the crazies keep getting bringing it back. If they get a single vote more than the previous vote, they herald it as “movement” in their direction. The crazies enlisted a few quite a few more crazies this time around. The vote was a lot closer than one would like: 5,683 (48.53%) voted for it, and 6,028 (51.47%) voted against it. Following the results, the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement…
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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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Mahoning County, OH Democrats Urge “No” Vote on Frack Ban

atta boyIt’s not often it happens, so we like to make a big deal out of it when it does–praise for a group of Democrats! Kudos to the Mahoning County Democrat Party for their stand AGAINST the no fracking ballot initiative on the November ballot–otherwise known as the Youngstown Community Bill of Rights initiative. As we’ve previously reported, this is the fifth time this idiotic ballot measure has come up for a vote in the City of Youngstown. The OH Supreme Court ruled it should be on the ballot in November (for a fifth time), even though the same Supreme Court ruled against such “home rule” laws earlier in the year (see OH Supreme Court Puts Youngstown Anti-Frack Measure on Ballot). Youngstown Mayor John McNally (Democrat) has opposed the measure multiple times–kudos to him too. However, the entire Mahoning County Democrat machine voted, unanimously, to recommend a “no” vote on the ballot initiative, which is noteworthy because you don’t see such clear-headed thinking from Dems all that often. They get an official MDN “atta-boy/girl” for their strongly worded stand…
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OH Supreme Court Puts Youngstown Anti-Frack Measure on Ballot

no logicOnly in America, and only in Ohio (slowly shaking our heads). Last Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court voted 7-0 to force an anti-fracking ballot measure that has been on the ballot in Youngstown, Ohio four times previously to be added to the ballot once again in November–for a fifth time. Even though (as the justices acknowledge) the ballot measure itself “may be” unconstitutional, as their own court recently found (see OH Supreme Court Strikes Down Home Rule in Gas Drilling Case). Apparently the justices object to a lowly county board of elections determining whether or not something is legal before it’s been voted on. As we told you in August, the Mahoning County Board of Elections voted unanimously to keep a so-called community bill of rights (i.e. anti-fracking) measure off the November ballot, a measure put forth by the nutters with LogicFree Mahoning Valley (aka FrackFree Mahoning Valley, see Elections Board Strikes Down 5th Youngstown Anti-Frack Ballot). The Ohio Supreme Court slapped the county right across the face and informed them determining legality is the purview of a court, not a board of elections. So the measure will go down to defeat a fifth time, wasting county time and money…
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