Battle continues with drilling amendment

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters in Youngstown will once again decide on a proposed charter amendment to ban oil and gas drilling in the city. A Mahoning County organization is already speaking out against the issue.

The Community Bill of Rights will appear in the ballot for the third time. And also for the third time, the Mahoning Valley Coalition on Job Growth and Investment is speaking out against the measure.

Clergy, business and city leaders are urging voters to turn down the amendment at the polls May 6.

The groups say they too want safety and environmental protection, but the Bill of Rights tells a growing industry that “Youngstown is closed.”

“The charter amendment, as it currently exists, is a job killer and a potential job killer here in the city of Youngstown for many companies and corporations,” said Youngstown Mayor John McNally.

Amendment supporter Ray Biersdorfer said the measure will not stop any manufacturing jobs from developing. He said it will just stop “deadly and harmful” jobs.

“Fatalities have increased over 40 percent in the oil and gas industry since this shale boom,” said Biersdorfer. “Everybody knows about the earthquakes that we’ve had, both in Youngstown and now in Poland, related to this community.”

The Community Bill of Rights was defeated twice at the polls in May and November of last year.

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