To the Editor: BG councilman tries to clear up ‘fracking’ confusion
Written by Bob McOmber   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:06
As anyone who has been reading the newspaper knows, City council has been in the middle of a debate regarding the method of oil and gas extraction referred to as “fracking” for several weeks now. This is a complicated topic, and I can understand the confusion many people have, particularly given the consideration of both a city ordinance and a City Charter amendment. Two Letters to the Editor that appeared in today’s (Sept. 18) newspaper, particularly one from a non-BG resident, illustrate the confusion. Let me try to clarify as best I can.
A special interest group came to Bowling Green and obtained enough signatures on petitions to have a proposed amendment to the City Charter appear on the ballot in November. City administration is opposed to the charter amendment. I am also opposed to the charter amendment. In short, I think the proposed amendment is too broad an vaguely worded, it is inconsistent with the current subject matter of the City Charter, it could possibly greatly disrupt the operations of our very fine Public Utilities Department and it sends a very negative message to business and industry.
The City Administration proposed an ordinance to City Council than bans fracking within the city limits. The ordinance is very different from the proposed charter amendment. It is much more concise and to the point than the charter amendment. The petition group that has been advocating for the charter amendment (including the Community Bills of Rights) was opposed to the ordinance. City Council passed the proposed ordinance unanimously on Sept. 16. Speaking only for myself, part of the reason I voted for the ordinance was to help defeat the charter amendment as the ordinance arguably eliminates any need for the charter amendment.
The point has been made, which I agree with, that no one will conduct a fracking operation in Bowling Green because of the geology of the city among other reasons. Thus, one could argue that neither the ordinance nor the charter amendment is needed. However, I saw no downside to passing the ordinance while the proposed charter amendment has numerous negative consequences.
Of course, not everyone agrees with my position. I encourage voters to read the proposed charter amendment and study the issue closely prior to voting on November 5.
Bob McOmber
Bowling Green

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