Marcellus Protest Supports amending Pittsburgh’s Home Rule Charter

July 25, 2011

Contact: Gloria Forouzan

Marcellus Protest Supports amending Pittsburgh’s Home Rule Charter

Marcellus Protest fully supports putting the shale drilling ban before the people of Pittsburgh on the November ballot.

The vote would amend the city’s Home Rule Charter. During the last year the grassroots group has built a large, local group and collaborated with like minded organizations. These efforts are already producing changes in local governments.

“This is just one more step to ensure the water and air quality in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County is not further diminished by the dangerous toxins associated with hydraulic fracturing,” said Carrick resident Elayne Eckman.

Marcellus Protest is encouraging residents to:
Contact their Council members
Attend Wednesday’s Council meeting, at which members are expected to take a preliminary vote on placing the referendum before the voters this fall.

Although Council voted to add a drilling ban to the city’s code last November, it can be changed/removed by a vote from future Council members.

“Amending the Home Rule Charter to include the ban makes it much more difficult to remove and less subject to changing political winds,” said John Detwiler of Pittsburgh.

Currently Pittsburgh is recognized as the leader in the movement to stop shale gas drilling, both in our region and across the nation’s shale regions. Marcellus Protest provides education, information and support to residents across SWPA, helping groups spring up in Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Marcellus Protest members have been instrumental in spurring a growing number of municipalities to adopt drilling bans, including Baldwin Boro and Wilkinsburg.

Marcellus Protest will partner with other organizations in Pittsburgh, council members and community groups to advocate for YES votes on the drilling ban amendment.

“Drilling industry supporters are saying they have no intention of drilling in Pittsburgh. We, simply, don’t believe them,” said Dana Dolney of Polish Hill. “We know they already have over 100 signed drilling leases in the city of Pittsburgh. We also know they’ve been working the phones, trying to get council members to vote against this referendum.”