To the editor:
Why vote yes on Issue 16? Thanks to the oil and gas lobby: 1) the fracking industry is exempt from federal Clean Air and Clean Water rules; 2) Ohio law allows the fracking industry to override any local control of where horizontally fracked wells and gas pipelines can go; 3) the Ohio Department of Natural Resources plans to allow open pit storage of toxic, radioactive fracking fluid, because injection wells can’t be drilled fast enough in Ohio to dispose of all the toxic waste being dumped in our state from fracking operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and elsewhere; 4) the damage fracking is doing to public health is kept hidden.
We need to take back our democratic rights from an industry that makes sure federal and state regulations work primarily to protect corporate profits, not the needs of our children and grandchildren. According to our Ohio Constitution, municipalities have the power to enact laws that preserve the public health, safety, and welfare of the municipality and its citizens. The Community Bill of Rights and Obligations is an exercise of this constitutional power.
Our city council has already passed a resolution requesting the governor and state legislature place a moratorium on fracking and injection wells and another resolution requesting them to move swiftly to repeal all state laws which pre-empt local control over oil and gas extraction. Now we voters have an opportunity to support these council actions by passage of an anti-fracking ordinance. Vote yes on Issue 16.
John D. Elder