Allegheny County panel to study drilling referendum
Allegheny County Council on Tuesday sent a proposal to put drilling under county parks on the ballot to the government reform committee for study.
“I believe the people have the right to weigh in on very major issues that affect them,” said Councilman Matt Drozd, R-Ross, who wants a referendum on the issue placed on the May 17 primary ballot. “What referendums do is they not only give everyone a voice, but they also air out the issue.”
County officials are weighing an offer from Huntley & Huntley to drill for natural gas underneath Deer Lakes Park in West Deer and Frazer.
The gas would be accessed from drilling pads outside park property. It could be months before the council considers a proposal for drilling.
Huntley & Huntley wants an answer from the county by year's end.
“I like the idea of referendum. I like the idea that the residents of Allegheny County would have the opportunity to vote on something as crucial and as critical as the fracking that we're talking or that you're talking putting into our county parks,” said Joni Rabinowitz, adding that she had not yet read Drozd's proposal.
Lucas Lyons of Pittsburgh spoke against the referendum and fracking underneath county parks.
Lyons asked the council to make the decision to avoid a popular vote based on emotion and potentially misleading facts.
“We're elected to make tough decisions,” said Councilman James Ellenbogen, D-Banksville. “We're elected to have the guts to do it.”
Councilwomen Heather Heidelbaugh, R-Mt. Lebanon, asked for committee meetings on the issue and an analysis of whether such a question could appear on the ballot.
Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin, assured the audience of several opponents to drilling underneath county parks “it's not a done deal.”
“Just rest assured, we are speaking; we are learning; and this is not going to be a rubber stamp legislation,” he said.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police: Woman thwarted abduction at Buffalo Township convenience store
- 2 arrested in drug raid at Arnold home
- Pittsburgh Street in Springdale closed until Monday
- Driver leaps from sliding truck just before it topples down hillside in Fawn
- Rep. Dermody calls state deficit top priority
- EPA urges further review of nuclear waste dump in Parks Township
- Arnold officer injured in attempt to detain suspect
- Parents alerted to luring attempt of fourth-grade girl in Springdale
- Gunman sought in gas station robberies in Jefferson, Buffalo townships
- Army Corps of Engineers asks for more input on Parks Township nuclear dump plans
- Residents opposed to drilling, Consol subsidiary make cases in Allegheny Township