Niles officials get fracking lesson

City leaders in Niles got a lesson on fracking Monday afternoon to clear up misinformation on the subject after council recently passed a community bill of rights.

An information roundtable was held at the Niles Municipal building with representatives from the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education program, along with other county leaders.  City council passed the bill of rights as an emergency measure last month to prevent drilling in the city because of fears a well was going to be drilled along Robbins Avenue.

That information turned out to be false. Energy officials said the ordinance tells the oil and gas industry the city is closed for business.

“I hope they understand they were fed a bill of goods by groups who promote this bill of rights.  Again, it does nothing more than it’s just a piece of paper and the letters written on it aren’t worth more than the piece of paper.  What Rhonda Rita did very well was educate them on the oil and gas industry and I think they needed that,” said Shawn Bennett, a spokesman with Energy In-Depth.

The issue of whether rescind the bill of rights ordinance could be taken up at the next Niles City Council meeting.

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