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SpectraBusters:Community Bill of Rights against pipelines
SpectraBusters
July 20th, 2014
Growing numbers of communities face unwanted shale gas infrastructure projects, such as pipelines. These authors urge residents to use Community Bills of Rights to stop them.
Lebanon Daily News: South Londonderry residents seek 'Community Bill of Rights'
by Marylouise ShollyLebanon Daily News
July 9th, 2014
South Londonderry, PA, residents urge Township Supervisors to adopt a Community Bill of Rights asserting their authority to protect clean air and water as they confront a shale gas pipeline
Lancaster Online: A gas pipeline through the county can be fought, crowd is told
by Larry AlexanderLancaster Online
July 9th, 2014
Communities in Lancaster County, PA, concerned about a proposed gas pipeline, learn about Community Bills of Rights that can be used to protect themselves.
The Patriot-News: Pipeline opponents hope to challenge Atlantic Sunrise Project with new type of law
by Monica Von DobeneckThe Patriot-News
June 26th, 2014
Lebanon Co, PA, residents facing a shale gas pipeline explore CELDF-drafted Community Bills of Rights Ordinances to stop the pipeline and protect their communities.
The Kane Republican: Highland Twp. picnic for clean water held Saturday
by Amy GreerThe Kane Republican
June 23rd, 2014
Highland Township, PA, residents, adopting a Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking injection wells in 2013, receive broad community support on Saturday at an event attended by Pennsylvania and Ohio communities.
The Bradford Era: Picnic held in Highland Township to discuss injection well
by Chuck AbrahamThe Bradford Era
June 22nd, 2014
Highland Township, PA, receives support from surrounding communities at the Residents Fight for Clean Water Picnic held Saturday. Highland residents face a fracking wastewater injection well, and are preparing to enforce their Community Bill of Rights banning the wells.
The Bradford Era: Community rights gathering slated in Highland Township
by Amanda NicholsThe Bradford Era
June 15th, 2014
Communities and government representatives from across Elk County, PA, are invited to Highland Township's community rights picnic gathering on Saturday, 6/21. The gathering will include speakers and community rights workshops.
The Bradford Era: Feds knock down Highland Township injection well appeals
by Colin DeppenThe Bradford Era
June 13th, 2014
Highland Township, PA, and CELDF are prepared to defend the Township's Community Rights Ordinance banning wastewater injection wells as Seneca Resources moves a step closer to attempting to site a well.
The Indiana Gazette: GRANT TOWNSHIP: Residents fight plan by driller
by Chauncey RossThe Indiana Gazette
June 4th, 2014
Amidst corporate threats for legal action at a municipal meeting, the Grant Township, PA, Board of Supervisors unanimously adopts a CELDF-drafted Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning wastewater injection wells.
Press Release: Grant Township Adopts Community Bill of Rights Banning Injection Wells
June 3rd, 2014
The Grant Township, PA, Board of Supervisors vote unanimously to adopt a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning injection wells. Grant joins Highland Township, which adopted a similar Ordinance in 2013.
The Pike County Courier: Residents seek 'bill of rights' to ban compressors
by Charles ReynoldsThe Pike County Courier
May 8th, 2014
Milford, PA, residents urge their supervisors to adopt a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance to protect them from compressor stations in the township.
Ridgeway Record: Jay Twp. supports Highland's injection well ordinance
by Jim MeyerRidgeway Record
April 17th, 2014
Highland Township, PA, receives a letter of support from Jay Township, as Highland stands behind its Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking wastewater injection wells. Nearby Ridgeway Township sent a letter of support in March.
Lehigh Valley Live: Upper Mount Bethel Township supervisors hear arguments for bill of rights to ban sludge
by Lynn Ondrusek Lehigh Valley Live
April 15th, 2014
Upper Mount Bethel Township residents present a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance to their Township Supervisors to protect against the land application of sewage sludge.
The Bradford Era: Highland Township Supervisors receive support in injection well fight
by Chuck AbrahamThe Bradford Era
April 10th, 2014
Support grows from other municipalities as Highland Township Supervisors stand by their Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking wastewater injection wells. The Township faces opposition from Seneca Resources Corporation.
E&E Publishing: Behind multiple local campaigns to ban fracking, one Pa. legal clinic
by Jennifer YachninE&E Publishing
March 31st, 2014
From grassroots organizing to help residents assert Community Rights to clean air, water, and the right to local self-governance in municipalities across the country, to a state constitutional amendment protecting the right to local self-governance in Colorado, CELDF's Ben Price shares CELDF's strategy to help communities facing environmental and economic harms.
The Bradford Era: Highland Township retains law firm in injection well fight
by Colin DeppenThe Bradford Era
March 22nd, 2014
CELDF is retained by Highland Township, PA, to defend the Township's Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking wastewater injection wells against Seneca Resources Corporation. Seneca wants to site an injection well and has threatened legal action to negate the community's rights.
State Impact: Elk County township prepares for battle against deep injection well
by Katie ColaneriState Impact
March 14th, 2014
As the EPA approves a wastewater injection well permit in Highland Township, PA, for Seneca Resources, the Township Supervisors, with standing-room-only support from the community, retains CELDF to defend their Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning injection wells.
The Kane Republican: Highland OKs Legal Fights Against Injection Well
by Ted LutzThe Kane Republican
March 13th, 2014
Highland Township Supervisors in Pennsylvania receive overwhelming support from residents to enforce their Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking wastewater injection wells, as Seneca Resources presses forward with a planned well.
Lehigh Valley Live: Upper Mount Bethel Township takes back plan to subsidize fertilizer
by Lynn OndrusekLehigh Valley Live
March 11th, 2014
Upper Mount Bethel Township residents urge Township Supervisors to adopt a Community Bill of Rights banning the spreading of sewage sludge at Monday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Bradford Era: Handful of appeals against Highland Township injection well project
by Chuck AbrahamThe Bradford Era
March 6th, 2014
Highland Township, PA, prepares to enforce its CELDF-drafted Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning injection wells against Seneca Resources Corporation.
The Bradford Era: Highland Township citizens group joins fray over injection well
by Chuck AbrahamThe Bradford Era
February 28th, 2014
Highland Township, PA, stands behind its Community Bill of Rights banning injection wells with the support of Township Supervisors, residents, and CELDF, as Seneca Resources vows to fight the rights-based ordinance.
The Bradford Era: Charges filed in Highland Township injection well fight
by Colin DeppenThe Bradford Era
February 14th, 2014
Highland Township Supervisors have overwhelming community support to enforce the Community Rights Ordinance banning wastewater injection wells against Seneca Resources. As well, an investigation is underway that Seneca's permit was fraudulently obtained.
The Bradford Era: Firm set to offer legal support in Highland Township injection well fight
by Colin DeppenThe Bradford Era
February 14th, 2014
CELDF affirms it will defend Highland Township, PA's Community Bill of Rights Ordinance that bans fracking wastewater injection wells against Seneca Resources, which has been issued a permit by the EPA to site an injection well within the township.
Lehigh Valley Live: LETTER: Township bill of rights is a local grass-roots effort
by John GormanLehigh Valley Live
January 13th, 2014
More Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA, residents press their township supervisors to adopt a Community Bill of Rights banning the spreading of sewage sludge and protecting the community's health, safety, and welfare.
Lehigh Valley Live: LETTER: Upper Mount Bethel Township needs community bill of rights
by Randy I. StettlerLehigh Valley Live
January 11th, 2014
Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA, resident urges township supervisors to follow the will of the people: Adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance to stop the land application of sewage sludge and protect the community.
Lehigh Valley Live: LETTER: Accurate information essential in farm-sludge debate
by Caroline SnyderLehigh Valley Live
January 9th, 2014
Upper Mount Bethel Township resident urges consideration of facts and a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning the spreading of sewage sludge to protect the community from the harmful practice.
WFMZ-TV 69 News: Community bill of rights pitched to Upper Mount Bethel supervisors
by Tom De MartiniWFMZ-TV 69 News
January 7th, 2014
Threatened with the spreading of sewage sludge, Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA, residents and supervisors consider a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning fracking.
Lehigh Valley Live: Residents, Upper Mount Bethel Township supervisors hear argument for bill of rights that could block sludge spreading
by Lynn Ondrusek Lehigh Valley Live
January 6th, 2014
CELDF speaks to Upper Mount Bethel Township residents and supervisors regarding a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning the spreading of sewage sludge.
Lehigh Valley Live: Upper Mount Bethel Township supervisors to hear argument for community bill of rights
by Lynn Ondrusek Lehigh Valley Live
January 5th, 2014
Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA, residents urge their township supervisors to adopt a Community Bill of Rights banning the spreading of sewage sludge.
Heartlander Magazine: The Fracking Fight Goes Way Left
by Marita NoonHeartlander Magazine
November 18th, 2013
The gas and oil industry moves forward to stop the Community Rights movement before it spreads further.
Lehigh Valley Live: Residents hope to stop sludge spreading in Upper Mount Bethel Township
by Lynn Ondrusek Lehigh Valley Live
November 18th, 2013
Upper Mount Bethel Township residents in Pennsylvania ask CELDF for assistance in using a Community Bill of Rights to stop the spreading of sewage sludge in their township.
The Bradford Era: Ridgway Twp. votes no on home rule
by Colin DepenBradford Era
November 6th, 2013
Ridgway Township, PA, voters decide not to pursue a home rule charter as a means to local decision-making over what happens in their community, including fracking.
Global Exhange's People to People Blog: A One-Man Fracking Ban
by Caitlin KawaguchiGlobal Exchange
September 30th, 2013
J. Stephen Cleghorn of Reynoldsville, PA, is the first private property owner in the U.S. to create an easement recognizing the Rights of Nature. Any activities, such as fracking, that harm the ecosystem are banned.
Observer-reporter.com: Youngstown debates a ban on fracking
by Natasha KhanObserver-Reporter
September 20th, 2013
Supporters of Youngstown, OH's Community Bill of Rights banning fracking indicate the measure is designed to protect Community Rights - and will not take away jobs.
The Bradford Era: Earthquakes elicit Elk County opposition to proposed injection well
by Colin DeppenThe Bradford Era
August 23rd, 2013
Elk County Commissioners speak out against fracking injection wells.
The Courier Express: Residents want home rule charter
by Katie WeidenboernerThe Courier-Express
July 18th, 2013
Ridgway Township, PA, residents are collecting signatures to establish a Home Rule Charter, asserting Community Rights to local self-governance, including the right to ban fracking.
Press Release: Pennsylvania Community Rights Network (PCRN) Seats Founding Board of Directors
by CELDF
June 21st, 2013
Declaring that the legitimate foundation of government is the right to local self-governance, the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network reviewed bylaws and officially launched the organization on Monday in Bowmanstown, Carbon County.
The Bradford Era: Ridgway Township Supervisors vote against drilling ban ordinance
by Gretchen RokoskyThe Bradford Era
June 19th, 2013
Ridgway Township, PA, Township Supervisors vote against a Community Bill of Rights ordinance that would have protected residents from shale gas drilling and fracking by banning it.
Occupy.com: How a Community Bill of Rights is Empowering People Against Corporations
by Matt HungerOccupy.com
June 18th, 2013
Taking rights to the community level: Occupy.com covers CELDF's work in supporting communities that are building a Community Rights movement.
In These Times: Frack Corporate Personhood
by Anthony MaginiIn These Times
May 8th, 2013
Word of Washington Co, PA, Judge O'Dell-Seneca's recent ruling that corporations do not count as people continues to spread.
State College residents opposed to Penn State natural gas pipeline continue dialogue
by Jessica VanderkolkCentre Daily Times
April 27th, 2013
CELDF invited to State College to teach Democracy School in June as residents continue to organize around stopping a possible gas pipleline through the borough.
Shalefields Grassroots Reporter: It's Time for Communities to Ban Shale Gas Drilling en Masse
by Braden CrooksShalefields Grassroots Reporter
April 19th, 2013
Braden Crooks, founder of Groundswell in State College, PA, writes about what it takes to assert Community Rights to protect communities from fracking and create a sustainable energy future.
Huffington Post: Heroic Women: Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca
by Alexia ParksHuffington Post
April 18th, 2013
The Huffington Post celebrates Judge O'Dell-Seneca's historic ruling that corporations are not "persons" and recognizes CELDF's work.
weareCentralPA.com: Proposed Pipeline Fight Still On
by Mallory LaneweareCentralPA.com
April 15th, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - What started as a fight to stop a pipeline, is now a fight for community rights....Sunday, nearly 40 people living in the State College borough came together to talk about their next move, and to determine how to make their voices heard, again.
Truthout: Pennsylvania Court Deals Blow to Secrecy-Obsessed Fracking Industry
by Steven RosenfeldTruthout
April 15th, 2013
A Pennsylvania judge in the heart of the Keystone State’s fracking belt has issued a forceful and precedent-setting decision holding that there is no corporate right to privacy under that state’s constitution....CELDF's Thomas Linzey says “The ruling represents the first crack in the judicial armor that has been so meticulously welded together by major corporations."
Centre Daily Times: Community members talk bill of rights, possible future plans for pipeline opposition
by Matt MorganCentre Daily Times
April 15th, 2013
State College, PA residents gather to determine next steps in leveraging their Community Bill of Rights to protect the community from a Columbia Gas pipeline coming through the borough.
Centre Daily Times: Borough pipeline project remains in legal limbo
by Jessica VanderkolkCentre Daily Times
April 13th, 2013
State College, PA residents turn to their Community Bill of Rights as grounds to stop a proposed natural gas pipeline running through the borough. The Bill of Rights, adopted overwhelmingly by residents in November 2011, includes a right to a sustainable energy future, and specifically prohibits gas pipelines.
Centre Daily Times: In State College, it’s not just about the pipeline’s path
by Thomas LinzeyCentre Daily Times
April 11th, 2013
CELDF's Executive Director Thomas Linzey's Op-Ed in the Centre Daily Times: This is about borough residents' community right to a sustainable energy future, included in a Community Bill of Rights amendment to their Home Rule charter in 2011. Overwhelmingly supported by citizens, now it's time to enforce it.
Voices of Central PA: Monday Morning Pipeline News
by Katherine WattVoices of Central PA
April 9th, 2013
State College residents are facing a gas pipeline running through their community. Resident Katherine Watt urges City Council to recognize this issue is about community rights to protect their own health, safety, and welfare, as asserted in their Home Rule Charter amendment establishing a Community Bill of Rights.
Centre Daily Times:State College residents request bill of rights consideration
by Jessica VanderKolkCentre Daily Times
April 8th, 2013
State College, PA residents insist borough City Council enforce Bill of Rights charter amendment to protect community members from proposed gas line. The Community Bill of Rights was adopted in November 2011 by 72% of voters.
Centre Daily Times: State College won’t issue pipeline permit
by Jessica VanderkolkCentre Daily Times
April 3rd, 2013
STATE COLLEGE — The borough manager will not issue any permits for the construction of a natural gas pipeline planned to extend two miles under borough streets to reach Penn State’s West Campus steam plant. The decision comes at the direction of the Borough Council which, after a four-hour public discussion on the Columbia Gas project Monday night, unanimously approved a resolution directing the manager “not to approve any permit allowing construction of the proposed pipeline.”...[R]esidents [brought up] the environmental bill of rights added to the borough’s home rule charter by referendum in 2011. In part, it prohibits pipelines and other fossil fuel facilities “that would violate the right to a sustainable future” for the borough.
Groundswell: PSU Pipeline Violates Community Bill of Rights
Groundswell
March 21st, 2013
Penn State’s plan to convert its campus power plant to natural gas has crashed head-on into the rights of the citizens of State College, PA, as enumerated in Article XI of their borough charter. The plan to feed this power plant with fossil fuels, which sits on the boundary of Penn State’s main campus and downtown State College, calls for a high-pressure gas pipeline snaking through residential neighborhoods and past local businesses. The citizens of State College, together with citizens of neighboring Ferguson Township, have risen up against it.
Allegheny Defense Project: Property Rights Meet Natural Rights in Land Protection
by Matt PetersAllegheny Defense Project
February 28th, 2013
JEFFERSON COUNTY-- A Pennsylvania farmer is pioneering the art of land preservation, in a unique application of a conservation easement on the property deed of his organic farm. By establishing certain deed restrictions and creating a Rights of Nature constitutional document, J. Stephen Cleghorn of Paradise Gardens and Farm has become the first farmer in the state to protect his land for all time using this method. Cleghorn established the easement in memory of his late wife, Dr. Lucinda Hart-González who died of lung cancer on November 14, 2011. On May 10 of 2012 Ms. Hart-González's ashes were scattered on the property and the farm was declared forever inviolate and off-limits to shale gas fracking. The easement is dated as of the first anniversary of her death. The easement was created with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a nonprofit, Pennsylvania-based law firm.
The Kane Republican: Letter to the editor - Banning Depositing Waste from Shale Gas Drilling
by William J. GrancheThe Kane Republican
February 19th, 2013
A few weeks ago the headline read, "James City injection well plans on track," and this in the face of the Elk County commissioners who unanimously rejected the proposal due to the inherent dangers of contamination and health threats to the people....The township supervisors of James City approved an ordinance meant to protect their own "pursuit of happiness."...The ordinance bans the depositing of waste from the extraction of shale gas....Seneca Resources...plans to ignore concerns of the people and impose their will.
SNL Financial: Seneca Resources considers response to Pa. town's wastewater injection well ban
by Mark HandSNL Financial
February 15th, 2013
Pennsylvania state lawmakers and regulators have tried to maintain a friendly relationship with the shale gas industry. But officials in some municipalities are working from a different script than their colleagues at the state level. In the northwestern part of the state, for example, Seneca Resources Corp. has run into a snag in its plans to drill a hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal injection well in Highland Township, Pa., a municipality in an area where the company has active natural gas drilling operations....In January, Highland Township supervisors passed a community rights ordinance that essentially banned the planned injection well....In the summer of 2012, Highland Township approached the CELDF, a public interest law firm based in Mercersburg, Pa., over concerns about the planned introduction of fracking waste disposal injection wells, according to Ben Price, projects director for the CELDF. "The supervisors adopted a community bill of rights [drafted by the CELDF], asserting the right to clean air, pure water, healthy environment, rights of nature, right to local self-government, and they banned those injection wells," he said in an interview earlier this month.
State Impact: Pa. Communities Craft Creative Escape Hatch from Drilling Law
by Susan PhillipsState Impact
February 13th, 2013
While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court continues to deliberate the constitutionality of restrictions to local, Marcellus Shale, zoning regulations in the state’s new drilling law, a handful of communities across the Commonwealth are trying a unique approach to keep the industry away. “Community Bill of Rights” ordinances have been adopted by cities as large as Pittsburgh to ban fracking, and as small as Highland Township, Elk County, to prevent an underground wastewater injection well. About 500 people live in Highland Township, a forested, rural area near the Allegheny National Forest in the northwestern part of the state. In January, Highland Township Supervisors passed the “Highland Township’s Community Rights and Protection from Injection Wells Ordinance,” essentially banning a planned injection well proposed by Seneca Resources....The ordinance was drafted with help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund....
SNL Financial: Law firm facing little resistance to community rights-based bans on fracking
by Mark HandSNL Financial
February 8th, 2013
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is still pitching a perfect game. The public interest law firm has not been hit with an official legal challenge to one of the many "bills of rights" it has drafted for towns whose residents want to keep shale gas drilling out of their communities....The ordinances drafted by the CELDF for Ferguson Township and other communities are rights-based, making them different, for example, from the ordinances adopted in dozens of New York municipalities, including the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, N.Y., which banned hydraulic fracturing using traditional planning and zoning approaches. The city of Pittsburgh is the highest-profile municipality to adopt a rights-based anti-fracking ordinance drafted by the CELDF. The next community expected to take up the rights-based mantle, with the help of the CELDF, is Youngstown, Ohio....Industry attorneys are scratching their heads over the CELDF's unique rights-based approach to the issue of environmental protection and community empowerment.
Centre Daily Times: Letter to the editor - Voters spoke, but not everyone listened
by Pam StecklerCentre Daily Times
January 30th, 2013
As a concerned resident of Ferguson Township for more than 30 years, I was an active participant in petitioning to get the Community Bill of Rights and fracking ban amended to the Home Rule Charter in order to protect our rights to clean air and water and a healthy environment. The action of the Board of Supervisors to consider filing a declaratory judgment of complaint against our right of self-governance was egregious, intolerable and unjustifiable. The action, at the board’s Jan. 21 meeting, to simply remove the item from the agenda without discussion or resident input on the basis of “legal matters” was business as usual (i.e. no transparency) on the part of the board. The Bill of Rights was passed by a fair and legal process. The voters spoke. If the board is unwilling to enforce the will of its own electorate by attempting to nullify the amendment, its members should feel free to step down.
Public Herald: Just Say ‘No’ — Locals Ban Frack Waste in Pa.
by Melissa TroutmanPublic Herald
January 14th, 2013
On January 9, 2013, in otherwise quiet Highland Township in Elk County, Pennsylvania, officials signed a community rights bill into law stopping the deposit of fracking waste within the township. Seneca Resources...had planned to inject its “production fluids” (oil and gas drilling and fracking waste) into an injection well about 2,200 feet from Crystal Springs....Injection wells have a history, both long and recent, of failing ....So, residents of Highland Township asked their municipal officials to say “No.”...Highland Township is the latest on a list of over 140 other communities that have said ‘no’ to factory farms, waste incinerators, corporate water withdrawals, and now fracking by passing rights-based ordinances....Rights-based ordinances are simple but formal, and they’ve been penned with the help of Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).
The Kane Republican: Highland supervisors OK law on drilling waste
by Ted LutzThe Kane Republican
January 10th, 2013
Highland Township now has an ordinance that bans deposits from the drilling of Marcellus Shale natural gas wells. Township Supervisors Charlie Vaughn and Paul Burton St. [sic] agreed Wednesday to adopt the ordinance, which is seen as a way to stop Seneca Resources from disposing of "produced water".... A township "citizens group" previously called for the supervisors to enact the ordinance. The law is based on an ordinance that reportedly has been adopted in other municipalities in the state as an environmental-protection type measure to establish "a Bill of Rights." The ordinance, in part, claims that the "injection" of waste from Marcellus Shale wells would "pose a significant threat" to the "health, safety and welfare" of township residents.
Press Release: Highland Township, PA Adopts Community Bill of Rights that Bans Toxic Injection Wells
by CELDF
January 9th, 2013
This evening, the Board of Supervisors of Highland Township in Elk County, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that establishes a community Bill of Rights, and forbids corporations “to deposit, store. ‘treat,’ inject or process waste water, ‘produced water,’ ‘frack’ water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products that have been used in the extraction of shale gas onto or into the land, air, or waters within Highland Township.” This prohibition specifically applies to disposal injection wells. The ordinance recognizes rights to pure water, clean air, a sustainable energy future, the recognition that the people of Highland at all times enjoy and retain “an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.” It also recognizes natural communities and ecosystems to have “inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within Highland Township,”...
EcoWatch: Restoring Democracy in the Fight Against Fracking
by Thomas LinzeyEcoWatch
December 26th, 2012
Same story. Different day. People are threatened by an activity that will injure them, and they work overtime to pass a law that bans the activity. An affected corporation—or industry association—then sues the municipality, contending that the community can’t prohibit what the state allows, and that the ban violates the “rights” of the corporation. The upshot of these machinations is that the municipality then either repeals the ban or is bankrupted trying to defend it. Most likely, the insurance corporation for the municipality brokers a deal in which the municipality agrees not to enforce the ordinance in exchange for the corporation dropping its lawsuit. Day after day, issue after issue, community after community, this machine has been humming along happily (for some) ever since the late 1800’s. All under a structure of law so perfectly constructed that very few understand how it actually works in practice. Under a structure of law that lawyers, law professors, elected officials, judges and established activist organizations call “democracy.”
The Progress: In Brady, group still fighting against proposed well
by Josh WoodsThe Progress
December 4th, 2012
LUTHERSBURG - The fight against a proposed disposal injection well in Brady Township continued at last night's board of supervisors meeting. Resident Marianne Atkinson spoke on behalf of an overflow crowd who is against locating the well in the Highland Street residential area. Atkinson asked the Board of Supervisors to consider adopting a community bill of rights ordinance to protect the health, safety and welfare of township residents. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund would write the bill of rights ordinance and could defend it in court at no cost to the township, she said. The only costs the township might incur are mileage and court filing fees, she said. "I'm not confident we have anything to present to the Environmental Protection Agency that will stop the injection well," said Atkinson. "It seems like a CELDF ordinance is our best and only hope."
Press Action: Pa. Farmer's Anti-Fracking Conservation Easement Serves as Model for Other Landowners
Press Action
November 16th, 2012
When Pennsylvania organic farmer Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn publicly announced plans to create a first-in-the-nation conservation easement on his land, with the aim of preventing hydraulic fracturing, he was hoping his act would encourage others to do the same. It’s been only a few days since Cleghorn made the announcement, and already other landowners have contacted him to learn more about his novel approach to keeping natural gas drillers at bay....“I am imposing here, in partnership with nature and the CELDF, a new protection that will make it impossible for the gas in the shale below us to be drilled because it cannot be done in a way that does not at the very least harm the ecosystems of the deep biosphere where the shale exists and certainly because it is done from the surface, it can harm the ecosystems at the surface, both through air and water pathways and we’re not going to let that happen,” Cleghorn said.
Press Release: Pennsylvania Landowner Recognizes Rights of Nature through a First-in-the Country Deed Easement: Bans Fracking for Shale Gas
by J. Stephen Cleghorn, PhDParadise Gardens and Farm
November 12th, 2012
Paradise Community, Henderson Township, Jefferson County, PA, November 14, 2012 – J. Stephen Cleghorn, PhD, a Pennsylvania organic farmer, has become the first landowner in the United States to use a conservation easement to recognize and protect the rights of water, forest, and wild ecosystems. The easement then bans activities, like shale gas hydro-fracking, which would violate those rights, and elevates the rights of nature above the power claimed by extractive energy corporations to despoil the environment. Cleghorn is the owner of Paradise Gardens and Farm– a fifty acre organic farm that sits above the Marcellus Shale formation in Henderson Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Cleghorn established the easement in memory of his late wife, Dr. Lucinda Hart-González who died of lung cancer on November 14, 2011. In a ceremony held on May 10 of this year Ms. Hart-González's ashes were scattered on the property and the farm was declared forever inviolate and off-limits to shale gas fracking.
CELDF Press Release: Home Rule Charter Amendment Adopted by Popular Vote Elevates Community Rights over Corporate Privileges Bans Fracking, Injection Wells, Shale Gas Development in the Township
by CELDF
November 7th, 2012
Voters in Ferguson Township, Centre County Pennsylvania adopted a Community Bill of Rights guaranteeing the right to clean air, pure water, a sustainable energy future, the peaceful enjoyment of home, the right of ecosystems to exist and flourish, and the right to exercise self-government in the local community. To protect these rights, the amendment also bans corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the community.
Centre Daily Times: Ferguson Township approves environmental bill of rights
by Jessica VanderKolkCentre Daily Times
November 6th, 2012
FERGUSON TOWNSHIP — With five of eight precincts approving, voters passed a referendum to add an environmental bill of rights to the township’s home rule charter Tuesday. According to unofficial county numbers, the measure passed 4,235 to 3,883. The measure outlines citizen rights to things like clean air, clean water, and sustainable communities. It also declares a ban on natural gas drilling and all actions related to the fracking industry.
Centre Daily Times: Ferguson residents to vote on environmental bill of rights
by Jessica VanderKolkCentre Daily News
October 31st, 2012
A referendum related to environmental rights set for a vote in Ferguson Township has drawn some controversy between the township and the provision’s supporters. Members of Groundswell PA, a group advocating for sustainable communities, successfully petitioned to get an environmental bill of rights on the Nov. 6 ballot for potential acceptance by residents. The group did the same in State College last year, and voters approved the provision. The measure would amend the township’s home rule charter to state that residents have rights to clean air and water, self-government and a sustainable energy future. It also would ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the process being used across the state to produce natural gas.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Next Page: When the streets ran with gas
by Joel A. TarrPittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 28th, 2012
Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania have had a long history of natural gas development. In spite of various technical differences, there are striking similarities between issues from our early history and the current debate over drilling in the Marcellus Shale. One of these concerns relates to the right of municipalities to enact regulations controlling natural gas operations within their boundaries without conflicting with state law. This is a major issue in regard to shale fracking for natural gas development today. But it was also prominent in the 1880s during the early days of traditional natural gas development and distribution.
Pittsburgh City Paper: On the Record with Wanda Guthrie of the Thomas Merton Center's Committee on Environmental Justice
by Lauren DalyPittsuburgh City Paper
September 19th, 2012
With Marcellus Shale drilling taking hold in Pennsylvania, municipalities like South Fayette and Pittsburgh have enacted their own regulations curtailing it — attracting scrutiny and challenges from the industry. Meanwhile, activists like Wanda Guthrie are trying to push communities to get involved with the policies that shape the environment around them.... [Guthrie says about PA's Act 13]: "Even if they give rights back to the municipalities, we're still stuck with the Oil and Gas Act. It's kind of like we're going to have a fracking problem, anyway. From the beginning I've said, we don't have a drilling problem, we have a democracy problem."
Press Release: Thomas Merton Center Signs on to the Chambersburg Declaration
Thomas Merton Center
September 5th, 2012
Pittsburgh, PA (September 5, 2012) The Thomas Merton Center became the latest organization to sign onto The Chambersburg Declaration, which denounces the concentration of "wealth and greater governing power through the exploitation of human and natural communities," and declares that "environmental and economic sustainability can be achieved only when the people affected by governing decisions are the ones who make them." The Chambersburg Declaration calls for the convening of a People's Constitutional Convention with delegates chosen from every County and Township "representing municipal communities, who will propose constitutional changes to secure the inalienable right to local, community self-government free of state and corporate preemption."
The Standard Speaker: Packer Twp. to revamp biosolids ordinance
by Mia LightThe Standard Speaker
September 5th, 2012
Packer Township no longer has an ordinance that outlaws the use of sewage sludge as soil fertilizer. But, according to the board of supervisors, a new, stronger ordinance will soon be in place....Board Chairman William Swineberg said...[that] supervisors have decided, on the advice of attorneys from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund CELDF), to revoke the existing ordinance and prepare to adopt a stronger version of the law.
Guest Editorial: Why the Recent Act 13 Decision Won’t Help to Stop Fracking
by Thomas LinzeyCELDF
August 22nd, 2012
Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania struck down key parts of Act 13, the now-infamous Pennsylvania state law that sought to nullify municipal zoning restrictions on natural gas extraction and gas “fracking” across the State....While the Commonwealth Court did rule to limit the reach of Act 13, the decision was not based on the right of communities to stop fracking. Instead, the Court ruled that the State couldn’t use the Act to force gas extraction operations onto land not locally zoned for it, because such coercion would interfere with the rights of neighboring property owners. It was thus a property rights decision, not a community rights one.
Centre Daily Times: Petition added to Ferguson Township ballot
by Matt Carroll and Jessica VanderKolkCentre Daily Times
August 15th, 2012
BELLEFONTE — The Centre County Election Board is considering how to word a referendum on the November ballot that seeks to ban natural gas drilling in Ferguson Township. Members of Groundswell PA have filed a petition seeking to amend Ferguson Township’s home rule charter by adding a community bill of rights, which they say will protect the local environment. Groundswell, the group behind a similar movement last year in State College, has collected enough signatures to place the petition on the November ballot. Ferguson Township resident Jeff Kurland, a member of the group, filed the petition with the county. The group aims to protect drinking water and air by preventing new natural gas drilling sites in the township.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Pipeline: Protesters hold mock funeral criticizing Shell subsidies
by Carl RomanosPipeline
July 24th, 2012
The “Sons and Daughters of Liberty” (SDL) held a mock funeral for what they claim is the “death of the Pennsylvania commonwealth” on Tuesday afternoon in Market Square, and it didn't take long to see Gov. Tom Corbett's shale policy was a target for criticism. A satirical skit featuring members of the SDL playing Gov. Corbett and a Royal Dutch Shell representative accompanied the proceedings. The storyline of the skit involved Corbett granting Shell the $1.7 billion dollars in subsidies and tax breaks it said to receive for building an ethane cracker plant near Monaca.
Lehigh Valley Live: Community Bill of Rights began at democracy school
by Zach LindseyLehigh Valley Live
July 11th, 2012
While Easton’s proposed Community Bill of Rights is not officially endorsed by the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership’s steering committee, the ordinance comes out of a democracy school approved by the committee in November 2011. Hosted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, the democracy school concept is a way for community groups such as the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership to learn more about organizing and engaging the public. “The school wasn’t about committing to a program or an agenda,” said Rep. Bob Freeman. “These are discussions about ways to empower local communities.”
The Morning Call Easton Area News: Lower Mount Bethel rejects sludge ordinance
by Adam ClarkThe Morning Call Easton Area News
July 10th, 2012
Lower Mount Bethel Township has decided not to adopt a proposed ordinance banning the use of sludge on township farmland. The ordinance was presented to the township earlier this year by The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a Franklin County nonprofit organization that offers free legal advice. Though residents have asked the supervisors to take steps to limit or ban the use of sludge, the proposed ordinance has "absolutely no chance" of being upheld in court, solicitor Joseph Zator said.
Alliance for Sustainable Communities: The Importance of Being Radical
by Noël JonesAlliance for Sustainable Communities
July 9th, 2012
As an activist in Easton, there is one crucial challenge I have encountered in trying to engage residents in any cause, regardless of the issue. Whether it’s fighting fracking for natural gas, sewage sludge fertilization, landfills—the challenge is fragmentation. People—good people—are very busy, working hard to sustain themselves and their families, and they have little free time to divide among additional pursuits. When they do commit to carving out time for meetings, there tend to be so many issues facing any given community, that each community will be fragmented in their efforts....But there is good news—a possible silver bullet that can streamline our efforts to eradicate the root of the disease, rather than wasting scarce time and precious energy running around fighting symptoms wherever they crop up. That silver bullet is to declare and establish local self-governance at the municipal level according to state constitutional rights, including the right to deny corporations the ability to invade communities and run roughshod over The People.
The Easton Eccentric: Easton Community Bill of Rights Brought Back to City Council with Changes
by Christina GeorgiouThe Easton Eccentric
June 28th, 2012
Members of the community who are pushing for the City of Easton to pass a Community Bill of Rights intended to curb the power of corporations within the city and elevate the rights of living people above those of corporate entities, considered to be “persons” under current state and federal law, returned to city council Wednesday evening with a revised proposal, entitled “Easton's Community Rights and Protection from Natural Gas Production Ordinance.” The new proposal specifically targets fracking for natural gas, and would make the practice and related practices illegal within city limits and calls for any corporation engaging in gas production practices in neighboring municipalities to be held liable for potential damages to citizens of Easton or its ecosystem. It additionally declares the right of city residents to enjoy the “right to clean air,” the “right to pure water,” the “right to peaceful enjoyment of home,” the “right to be free from trespass” with regard to “the integrity of their bodies,” and a “right to sustainable energy future.” [Note: scroll down to June 28th for full text of blog).
The Morning Call: Easton explores citizens' bill of rights
by JD MaloneThe Morning Call
June 14th, 2012
Dennis Lieb just wants what he believes is due every resident of Easton: more decisions made at the local level and fewer handed down from Harrisburg and Washington. He also wants the city to adopt a citizens' bill of rights — a list of demands for self-government: raising people above corporations; the removal of corporations from positions of influence; empowering neighborhoods; protecting the environment; and pretty much telling the state to keep its nose out of Easton's business....The bill of rights outlines nine points ranging from banning corporate influence in elections to rejecting the state's ability to supersede local control. Pittsburgh adopted a community bill of rights last year as part of a ban on natural gas drilling within the city.
Philadelphia Inquirer: Op/Ed by CELDF's Ben Price - Fracking spurs a municipal mutiny in Pennsylvania
by Ben Price, Projects Director, CELDFThe Philadelphia Inquirer
May 23rd, 2012
Not content to leave Pennsylvania communities with any control over gas drilling within their borders, state legislators have stripped municipalities of their zoning authority under Act 13, choosing energy corporations over the people who elected them....It’s time we...stopped expecting any other outcome from Harrisburg. It’s time for a grassroots revolt aimed at enshrining the right to community self-government in the Pennsylvania Constitution, protecting local authority from the state. The work begins in our communities, with the adoption of local laws and home-rule charters directly challenging the legal doctrines that subordinate communities to the legislature, as well as the privileges that protect corporations from democracy. More than 100 municipalities across Pennsylvania have begun this journey, elevating the rights of people and communities above the rights of corporations and commerce. These municipalities recognize the need for community rights independent of the legislature and are coming together to form the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network.
Lehigh Valley Live: Lower Mount Bethel Township may consider ordinance against further sludge applications
by Andrew GeorgeThe Express Times
May 8th, 2012
Though sludge has made its first appearance on one Lower Mount Bethel Township farm, supervisors may look to a legislative remedy to make sure there's no encore....On Monday night, supervisors listened to a presentation from Ben Price, a project director with the Mercersburg, Pa.-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, who informed them of possible steps to prevent further sludge application in the township....Price told supervisors Monday that with the help of his agency, an ordinance could be drafted stressing "rights-based" reasons for why sludge should not be permitted on township farms. Price argued that if the township believes sludge to be harmful and detrimental to members of its community, an ordinance banning it could be implemented.
Press Action: Declaring a Farm Forever Inviolate of Drilling for Shale Gas
Press Action
May 5th, 2012
Drawing upon this nation’s Declaration of Independence as inspiration, Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn, co-founder of the 50-acre Paradise Gardens and Farm organic farm that sits above the Marcellus Shale formation, is holding a press conference to declare—in defiance of any established laws which say otherwise—that his farm shall never be violated from above or below by unconventional shale gas drilling. He will seal his declaration upon the scattering of ashes that are all that is left of the farm’s co-founder, his late wife Dr. Lucinda Hart-González, who died of cancer in November 2011....Cleghorn will stand his ground against the corporate tyranny that is poisoning the state’s water and air while sickening its people and animals. “We need a new paradigm for how we live on this Earth,” states Cleghorn. “Let’s have a little rebellion. Individual acts of resistance such as mine are but part of an ongoing movement and organization to create a new foundation of law based on the Rights of Nature.”
Centre Daily Times: Home rule charter vote fails in Rush Township
by Cliff WhiteCentre Daily Times
April 25th, 2012
RUSH TOWNSHIP — A fiercely contested referendum on home rule failed by slightly more than a 100- vote margin in Rush Township. Voters rejected the referendum, which would have formed a government study commission to explore the adoption of a home rule charter, by a count of 502 to 397....Mary Ann Williams, one of the leaders of the campaign to adopt home rule and a candidate for the government study commission, said the defeat was tough to swallow. “...Their win is not a mandate of the people by any means. If you look at the number we lost by, there are clearly some folks who want things to change here.”
Centre Daily Times: Rush Twp. to decide home rule
by Cliff WhiteCentre Daily Times
April 24th, 2012
One of Centre County’s biggest election day battles is taking place in Rush Township, where voters will decide whether they wish to convene a government study commission to explore implementation of a home rule charter. The 1972 Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law gives Pennsylvania’s municipalities the option to adopt a home rule charter, a form of governance that would give Rush Township additional powers to make local decisions. All registered voters in Rush Township will see the following referendum question on their ballots today: “Shall a government study commission of seven members be elected to study the existing form of government of the municipality, to consider the advisability of the adoption of a home rule charter; and if advisable, to draft and to recommend a home rule charter?”
Centre Daily Times: Home rule vote divides community
by Cliff WhiteCentre Daily Times
April 9th, 2012
RUSH TOWNSHIP — Political yard signs dot the lawns of most of the houses along the twisting road between Black Moshannon State Park and Philipsburg. In some cases, neighbors have put up signs directly facing each other, revealing an issue that has touched a nerve among residents in this large and sparsely populated municipality. On April 24, the date of Pennsylvania’s primary, residents will decide which side of the fence they stand on when it comes to home rule, a form of governance that would give Rush Township additional powers to make local decisions. “Home rule is a concept based on giving the people more of a direct say in the decisions the township makes,” said Joe Matson, a candidate for the government study commission that will be formed if residents approve the home rule referendum. “Whatever issues Rush Township faces down the road, people will be empowered to have a direct chance to say yes or no.”
Centre Daily Times Opinion - Your Letters: Give the voters more control
by Peggy L. MillerCentre Daily Times
March 28th, 2012
In response to Tuesday’s letters to the editor about home rule charter in Rush Township, the taxpayers would be fools, according to Pat Couturiaux, if they did not vote to approve home rule. Kudos for Couturiaux; he has really shown his ignorance. People have died so we all can have a say in what happens in our lives, so get out and vote for home rule April 24 and control what happens in your front yard.
Centre Daily Times Opinion - Your Letters: Don’t fix it; it’s not broken
by Paul ShannonCentre Daily Times
March 28th, 2012
The April 24 primary election will have a question on the ballot for Rush Township residents: Should Rush Township change to a home rule type of government? The response must be, “Why?”
CBS Pittsburgh: City Council Considers Suing State Over Act 13
CBS Pittsburgh
March 27th, 2012
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lincoln Place, opposition to Act 13 is strong. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that money can buy politicians, politicians can make laws and laws can ruin people’s lives,” Mark Schneider, of Lincoln Place, said. “I think Act 13 is a poorly written bill that completely usurps local authority,” City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, D-Carrick, said.
Centre Daily Times: Battle brews over referendum
by Cliff WhiteCentre Daily Times
March 22nd, 2012
A disagreement regarding how best to protect Rush Township’s water from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling has created a political fracture destined to spill over into April’s primary. Rush for Clean Water, an environmental group pushing for a ban on gas drilling, has acquired enough signatures to place a home rule charter referendum on April’s ballot. If approved, the initiative would create a commission to explore possible changes to the township’s existing form of government. The primary goal of the home rule movement, according to one of its chief proponents, is to let the township’s residents decide directly whether to enact a drilling ban. “It will give more voice to the people, so supervisors cannot have the final say,” said Mary Ann Williams, a Rush Township resident and leader of Rush for Clean Water.
AlterNet: How an Anti-Democratic, Corporate-Friendly Pennsylvania Law Has Elevated the Battle Over Fracking to a Civil Rights Fight
by Steven RosenfeldAlterNet
March 13th, 2012
In a handful of communities in eastern states, local anti-fracking activists have been heartened by recent lower court decisions that have upheld local zoning ordinances and statewide moratoriums to keep the controversial natural gas wells out of their towns. But in Pennsylvania, the epicenter of the controversial drilling, the legislature recently stripped all local zoning authority to prevent drilling, overturning the kinds of steps that have frustrated drillers in neighboring states. As a result, a different and riskier strategy is emerging in the battle to keep drilling at bay: local ordinances and organizing elevating the civil rights of communities and nature while limiting the legal rights of corporations.
AlterNet: Fracking Democracy: Why Pennsylvania's Act 13 May Be the Nation's Worst Corporate Giveaway
by Steven RosenfeldAlterNet
March 7th, 2012
Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients....“It’s absolutely crushing of local self-government,” said Ben Price, project director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which has helped a handful of local communities—including the city of Pittsburgh—adopt community rights ordinances that elevate the rights of nature and people to block the drilling. “The state has surrendered over 2,000 municipalities to the industry. It’s a complete capitulation of the rights of the people and their right to self-government. They are handing it over to the industry to let them govern us. It is the corporate state. That is how we look at it.”
Your South Hills: Bill to eliminate drilling restrictions
by Stephanie HackeYour South Hills
February 23rd, 2012
A ban on natural gas drilling through Marcellus shale is needed now more than ever in Whitehall Borough, some residents say. And local officials agree its time to take a stand against the growing industry. Gov. Tom Corbett last week signed House Bill 1950 into law, which sets state standards and eliminates local zoning regulations for drilling....A different approach to restricting drilling natural gas through Marcellus shale would be to ban it, asserting rights the state constitution provides for residents, including clean air and water, Scholl said. Baldwin Borough and Pittsburgh passed similar bans last year. "It rests on a completely different argument — that we're essentially not going to surrender our rights to a safe environment, to a safe community, because the state says so," Scholl said.
TribLive: Speedy action urged on Pennsylvania drilling legislation
by Timothy PukoPittsburgh Tribune-Review
January 18th, 2012
CELDF comment: Eyes are on Harrisburg as pro-drilling legislation is debated. Conservation groups and others opposing the legislation focus on how stringent the regulations for drilling should be, lamenting the devastation that will be forthcoming and trying to make it a little less. No one is talking about the rights of communities and local officials to BAN drilling, and that any legislation by Harrisburg to strip that right is a usurpation of communities’ rights to protect their own health, safety, and welfare--for themselves, their children, and to protect the rights of nature. Are communities going to make a stand for their right to decide what happens, where they live? Or are they resigned to arguing about how much poison in the water is acceptable?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Wilkinsburg council lobbies legislators on fracking
by Pamela E. WalckPittsburgh Post-Gazette
January 12th, 2012
The Wilkinsburg council voted unanimously Wednesday night to send letters to local representatives in Harrisburg opposing legislation that would give drilling companies the ability to side-step local bans on Marcellus Shale gas drilling. The board also agreed to draft a formal resolution to denounce the House Bill 1950 and Senate Bill 1100....[Councilwoman Eve Goodman]...added that she doesn't trust corporations to self-regulate for the good a community when corporate profits are on the line.
The Wall Street Journal: Report: Pa. data missing nearly 500 gas wells
by The Associated PressThe Wall Street Journal
January 9th, 2012
PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection undercounted the number of wells producing gas from the Marcellus Shale, frustrating industry, environmental groups, and elected officials, according to a newspaper report. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/weuty8 ) reported that an analysis of DEP data found 495 more wells producing gas, or ready to produce gas, than the DEP has recorded as ever being drilled, and that 182 of those wells don't even show up on the state's Marcellus Shale permit list.
The Times-Tribune: North Abington officials to wait on taking action about gas-drilling concerns
by Erin L. Nissley The Times-Tribune
January 4th, 2012
NORTH ABINGTON TWP. - One month after a group approached supervisors about passing an ordinance banning natural gas drilling, officials said they wanted to wait and see what happens with two bills being considered by state legislators. In December, several residents attended the North Abington Twp. meeting to voice concerns about what effects natural gas drilling might have on the environment. They asked supervisors to consider an ordinance that would ban drilling, similar to one that has been presented to municipalities across the region.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Straight-talking, passionate Shields leaves council
by Joe SmydoPittsburgh Post-Gazette
December 30th, 2011
"My job isn't to defend the government," Mr. Shields, 58, of Squirrel Hill, said in a farewell interview. "My job is to represent the people it serves."... Last year, Mr. Shields won his colleagues' support of legislation banning natural-gas production in the city. About two weeks ago, he won final approval of another bill aimed at holding drillers and government regulators liable for any pollution the city experiences because of production in upstream municipalities.
Star-Telegram: 'Fractivists' spur Pennsylvania's gas debate
by Mike NormanStar-Telegram
December 29th, 2011
No disrespect meant for North Texas environmental activists who oppose Barnett Shale natural gas drilling and the hydraulic fracturing that comes with it, but people with similar views in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale are strong enough to have been given a name: "fractivists." People there even refer to them as a movement.

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