17 Nov

I know I just posted, but shit in Pittsburgh just got real folks. Two weeks after our rally against the natural gas industry, a ban on fracking in Pittsburgh has been passed. I just posted the following in the Pittsburgh Student Environmental Coalition’s blog:

You read about fracking. You saw Gasland. You educated yourself. You talked to your neighbors. You told everyone you know. You attended the rally. And now you have something to show for your hard work.

Today the Pittsburgh city council unanimously adopted a first-in-the-nation ordinance banning corporations from conducting natural gas drilling in the city of Pittsburgh.

Councilman Shields, who introduced the ordinance, told the press, “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.”

A spokesperson from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the organization that drafted the ordinance, said, “Communities are coming to recognize that our state laws and government are not in place to protect their interests, but rather the interests of private corporations. Some will say that the municipality doesn’t have the authority to ban this noxious practice associated with gas drilling. The only way that’s true is if the state has the authority to strip the residents of their rights, and it doesn’t.

Does this mean the fight is over? Not nearly. Will this decision be challenged in court? Most certainly. Is this decision a victory in the fight to protect our basic human rights? Yes.

Read the full press release from the CELF here and the Post-Gazette article here (there are a ton more articles popping up everywhere).


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