‘Fracking’ language lacking PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 10:08
Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards and City Attorney Michael Marsh Monday urged the city's Board of Public Utilities to educate themselves and others about the potential ramifications of the proposed charter amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Marsh pointed out to the BPU that the terms "hydraulic fracturing" or "fracking" are never used in the proposal. The term "frack water" is used once. "It does not say anything about fracking anywhere," Marsh said.
Edwards repeated a concern about adding policy issues to the charter, which he said now simply sets out how the city operates. He favors a straightforward ordinance specifically prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, that city council introduced and gave a first reading Aug. 19. "The charter amendment does not fit with the charter and would, in my view, be a dilution of home rule," Edwards said.
"The proposal has an anti-business, anti-industry flavor to and I think it would damage the city's good working relationship between industry and the community," the mayor said. 
Reading over the proposal Edwards said he is concerned about the city maintaining control of its public utilities and the possibility that rates could increase dramatically if a challenge is mounted as to how the city chooses its suppliers and how products it purchases are manufactured. "I see this as an educational process, not an adversarial process. It is going to require some real leadership."
Last week during a visit of about 15 BG citizens to Oxford to study how that city handles various town-gown issues, Edwards said it was learned that Oxford City Council had passed an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing. "They just passed an ordinance straight up to deal with it," Edwards said. Oxford is the home of Miami University.
Marsh said the ordinance has a "BPU component" because:  "It speaks to a sustainable energy future, specifically section 3, which would make it illegal to convey energy supported by coal. The city gets a lot of it energy (electricity) from coal. Section 9 gives any resident the power to enforce the charter amendment."
The proposed amendment does not use the word "coal" but refers to: "Fossil fuel, nuclear or non-sustainable energy production and delivery infrastructures, such as pipelines, processing facilities, compressors, or storage and transportation facilities of any sort that would violate the right to a sustainable energy future. This prohibition shall not apply to the construction, maintenance, or repair of infrastructures used for delivery to residential or business retail end-users of gas or oil."
"It's a door-opener," Marsh said. "I ask you to read it. Most people oppose fracking but this (amendment) does not say anything about fracking. It is an anti-business manifesto from beginning to end. It will have a great effect on the rate payer in Bowling Green and it will be immediate. I hope that people will see this and understand it."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 10:27

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