Shields Introduces Legislation That Will Give Pittsburghers A Vote On Marcellus Shale Drilling
FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY
SUBJECT: HOME RULE CHARTER AMENDMENTS
CONTACT: JUDY FELDMAN, 412.255.8965
COUNCILMAN SHIELDS INTRODUCES LEGISLATION THAT WILL GIVE PITTSBURGHERS A VOTE ON MARCELLUS SHALE DRILLING
July 19, 2011 (Pittsburgh) City Councilman Doug Shields will introduce legislation in Council today to add a referendum on the November 8, 2011 general election ballot which proposes an incorporation of a “Bill of Rights” and ban of corporate gas extraction to the Home Rule Charter.
If this legislation passes, the proposed ballot question presented to the electors of Pittsburgh shall read, “Should the Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter be amended to add Section 104 ‘The City of Pittsburgh Bill of Rights’, which enumerates the right to water, the rights of natural communities, the right to a sustainable energy future, and the right to self-government, and which secures those rights by banning corporate gas extraction within the City and subordinating corporate rights to the rights of Pittsburgh residents?”
This legislation mirrors the Ordinance that was unanimously adopted by City Council on November 16, 2010. By adding this referendum to the ballot, Council is putting the question squarely to the voter to affirm Council’s passage of a Marcellus Shale drilling ban. By incorporation of the Ordinance into the Charter it makes it much more difficult for non-residents to claim dominion over the governed in Pittsburgh. It also places any repeal in the hands of the electors.
“I do not take any amendment to the Charter lightly” said Councilman Shields. “This issue of Shale Gas Exploitation is the issue of our times and how it goes will have lasting effects for generations to come. It is wholly appropriate to allow the public to speak to the issue in a meaningful way.”
The legislation is expected to reach Standing Committee in Council the following Wednesday, July 27th and a final vote on August 1, 2011.