Fracking on the ballot box in three Pa. Communities

    Vot­ers in three Penn­syl­va­nia com­mu­ni­ties will decide whether or not to allow drilling in the Mar­cel­lus Shale. The ref­er­en­dums are the first time any Penn­syl­va­nia vot­ers will weigh in directly on the con­tro­ver­sial gas drilling method known as hydraulic frac­tur­ing, or frack­ing. It may also be the first time in the coun­try, that vot­ers get an up or down vote on energy devel­op­ment. Frack­ing uses high-pressure water, sand and chem­i­cals to mine nat­ural gas.

    Other com­mu­ni­ties, such as Pitts­burgh, have passed anti-fracking mea­sures through their city coun­cil. But this new strat­egy by these home rule com­mu­ni­ties is meant to hold up bet­ter to any court challenges.

    For com­mu­ni­ties expe­ri­enc­ing the drilling boom, county and local-level offi­cials do not have much author­ity to reg­u­late drilling. Peter Buck­land lives in State Col­lege and helped orga­nize the borough’s referendum.

    Click here to read the entire story from State Impact-Pa.

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