Adopts First-in-the-nation Ordinance – Elevates the Right of the Community to Decide, Not Corporations
"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2010
PITTSBURGH: Today, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city.
The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) at the invitation of Councilman Bill Peduto, and was introduced by Councilman Doug Shields.
Pittsburgh’s first-in-the-nation ordinance confronts the threat of Marcellus Shale drilling – an activity permitted by the state which allows corporations to site drilling activities over the wishes of a community.
Energy corporations are setting up shop in communities across Pennsylvania, to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The gas extraction technique known as “fracking” has been cited as a threat to surface and groundwater, and has been blamed for fatal explosions, the contamination of drinking water, local rivers, and streams. Collateral damage includes lost property value, ingestion of toxins by livestock, drying up of mortgage loans for prospective home buyers, and threatened loss of organic certification for farmers in affected communities.
Councilman Shields stated, “This ordinance recognizes and secures expanded civil rights for the people of Pittsburgh, and it prohibits activities which would violate those rights. It protects the authority of the people of Pittsburgh to pass this ordinance by undoing corporate privileges that place the rights of the people of Pittsburgh at the mercy of gas corporations.”
Shields added, “With this vote we are asserting the right of the city to make critical decisions to protect our health, safety, and welfare. We are not a colony of the state and will not sit quietly by as our city gets drilled. We encourage communities across the region to take this step and join with us to elevate the rights of communities and people over corporations.”' More>>>>