To the Editor: BG urges ‘no’ vote on city’s anti-fracking amendment
Written by Betty Winslow   
Friday, 01 November 2013 09:40
The proposed so-called "anti-fracking" amendment to the Bowling Green City Charter (purporting to be a local concern) is actually a boilerplate creation being circulated to university communities, spearheaded by attorneys from a Pennsylvania environment group that has no stake in life in those communities, including ours. Its vague wording seeks to regulate more than just the "fracking" industry, leaving itself so open to individual interpretation that it could discourage new businesses and possibly even drive out some already here.
It plays on citizens' fears with its suggestions of possible ecological disasters, despite the fact that this area doesn't have the rock formation and other types of geology the industry prefers to hydraulically fracture, or frack, shale bedrock, and there's already an ordinance on the books forbidding fracking and its side effects to be carried out within the city limits. If they're counting on voters being unwilling to read the whole thing, let's disappoint them, shall we?
Just one example of some of the wording:
ARTICLE I, SECTION 1.05 THE CITY OF BOWLING GREEN COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS d. Rights of Natural Communities. Natural communities and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, and other water systems possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within the City of Bowling Green. People of the City shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of those natural communities and ecosystems.
Natural communities and ecosystems have no inalienable rights; they are not people. And who is to be the one to enforce these "rights"? Anyone with an axe to grind, apparently. Could someone with a grudge use it against a neighbor or local business? Possibly. Will it affect backyard water features like ponds & tiny waterfalls? If taken literally (and there's always someone willing to do that), it could. And that's just one of the possible unintended but unpleasant possible outcomes.
Please, before you vote on this, read the entire thing and consider the conflicts, lawsuits, and unwelcoming atmosphere that could result from its passage. Whatever you vote, make sure your vote is informed and takes BG's future into consideration. I'm voting "no". I hope you will, too.
Betty Winslow
Bowling Green
 

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