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unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Towns Fight Back Against Fracking


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16 January 2014, 12:17 PM
Pennsylvania Supreme Court latest to uphold municipal rights
A sign indicates the growing tension between agricultural communities and gas companies. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

In mid-December the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found Act 13 is unconstitutional. This is a law that allowed state government to override local communities’ zoning decisions to limit hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The decision stems from a lawsuit by seven Pennsylvania municipalities, a doctor and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Earthjustice submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, representing 22 organizations, including Marcellus Protest, Lehigh Valley Gas Truth and Berks Gas Truth.

Other state courts are facing this issue, too. Earlier in 2013, two New York state courts ruled in favor of towns that have limited industrial gas development through local zoning. Earthjustice is representing the Town of Dryden, one of the New York towns. The Ohio Supreme Court is considering a similar case, in which Earthjustice submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of health professionals.

The Pennsylvania and New York decisions are important precedents for local entities’ ability to fend off efforts to drill for oil and natural gas in and near communities concerned about the purity of their groundwater and other resources. Too many towns and their citizens have suffered contamination from fracking, and the industry and its political allies seem determined to continue and expand the practice no matter the consequences.

Deborah Goldberg, Earthjustice attorney involved in all three states, summed up:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that stripping away the rights of local communities to protect themselves from fracking isn’t just bad for the environment, it’s bad for democracy. Thanks to this ruling from the Supreme Court, the law is crystal clear: local officials have the right to decide what industrial activities are appropriate within their communities. These local decision-makers know what’s best for their towns, not powerful oil and gas companies nor their bought-and-paid-for state politicians.

The closely related decisions should also bring hope to people fighting fracking in Colorado, California and elsewhere. Each situation is unique, but if the courts will continue to affirm the rights of people and local communities to defend themselves—via zoning or another technique—against the depredations of outsiders interested only in their own bottom lines, then there’s a chance to get a handle on the fracking frenzy before it’s too late.
 

Let's put a finer point on the defective human species. I've heard it said, It isn't all human's. It's the humans that influence and or control the resources to destabilize economies and create financial havoc, to cause war, to sponsor injury, disease, and death with biological poisons, to capture and control the natural resources of the planet with any means necessary, to create a surveillance planet to program and control the masses, to create laws that favor the 1%.

That would be, heads of state, the corporate rich, military commanders, local militarized police, and for-hire judges, academics and scientists bought and paid for with your tax dollars taken from you. Those are the folks that need to be monitored, put under a microscope, dragged into the light of day, and placed on trial for their crimes of immorality and not with the constrained focus on "what laws were broken", because they wrote the laws. Strip them and their families of the resources they have amassed through systems intended to take resources and monies from the masses unto themselves. Latest reports indicate there is over $30 trillion dollars, perhaps twice that, stashed in their protected vaults. But that is simply ones and zeros (1/0), or metals, or "precious stones", or "art". Those are simply mediums of exchange. What enables their life long cruise on their luxury yachts, jets, and estates, is control of the life essential natural resources of the planet. Throw them and their dogs off the land. Global solidarity.

I thought no one was paying any attention, or even cared about the corrupt polititions that are destroying our way of life. this article gives me hope and I feel a little less crazy. our environment is so important and glad folks have the power to keep them from destroying their communities.

I am so fearful of all the fracking planned for Colorado and western states. Not only is it bad because of the pollution, but it takes tons and tons of water for this process.
Drought states need water for drinking, bathing and farming, not fracking!
California farming depends on water from Colorado and what will we do for food if Colorado's water is wasted on fracking?
There should be a federal law banning fracking in drought-stricken states. It is in the national interest to protect water in western states.

In North Carolina our extreme right-wing state government is pushing fracking hard. We need organizers and legal help to fight for our towns.

As we move into 2014 I find that we have not made much progress as a species. The wildlife of this planet has taken the cruel brunt of our selfishness, ego, and instinct of survival above all else. "How will we feed the growing population...?" is the theme of humanity today. We do not keep ourselves in check, its time cull our herd. War, domestic violence against women and children, man's continued inhumanity to man, insane farming practices that murders the very system that feeds all of life as we know it and then
greed ... These traits make up our true nature and legacy thus far. Instead of doing things correctly and morally from the start, we just go ahead and do the same thing over and over again, History repeats as faithfully as the sun rises each day. Then the results are swept out to sea, wafted up to the heavens or buried only as deep as we can dig, only to surface again, embarrassingly and wreak havoc with our health and that of the planet. Is it not strange that man will bury his trash and waste in his own neighbors yard, then smile each morning without concern for the future and well being of those that will be violated when said refuse comes back to kill, infect and destroy all in its path. We are not evolved, we are not kind, we are not intelligent although at times we seem like we may be capable of it. Greed, monetary gains, religions and power rule humanity, isn't it time we admit to these foibles and make mindful, compassionate and loving decisions for our forests, seas, atmosphere and all living things from micro organisms to the largest living beings first. Them first, us second, only then we will find peace and harmony together and finally evolve as a species.
Wake up humanity, the trash is burning and we are next.. !!!

Let's put a finer point on the defective human species. I've heard it said, It isn't all human's. It's the humans that influence and or control the resources to destabilize economies and create financial havoc, to cause war, to sponsor injury, disease, and death with biological poisons, to capture and control the natural resources of the planet with any means necessary, to create a surveillance planet to program and control the masses, to create laws that favor the 1%.

That would be, heads of state, the corporate rich, military commanders, local militarized police, and for-hire judges, academics and scientists bought and paid for with your tax dollars taken from you. Those are the folks that need to be monitored, put under a microscope, dragged into the light of day, and placed on trial for their crimes of immorality and not with the constrained focus on "what laws were broken", because they wrote the laws. Strip them and their families of the resources they have amassed through systems intended to take resources and monies from the masses unto themselves. Latest reports indicate there is over $30 trillion dollars, perhaps twice that, stashed in their protected vaults. But that is simply ones and zeros (1/0), or metals, or "precious stones", or "art". Those are simply mediums of exchange. What enables their life long cruise on their luxury yachts, jets, and estates, is control of the life essential natural resources of the planet. Throw them and their dogs off the land. Global solidarity.

Where was earth justice whenever the state of WV overrode Morgantown, WV's ordinance that they passed outlawing fracking within the town's limits? We need a fight down here! The gas, oil, and coal companies are running roughshod over west Virginia's citizens and the state will not protect us!

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