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May 06, 2014

Pittsburgh's Fracking War: The Allegheny County Council's Big Night.

In a challenge to fracking that's made national news, anti-fracking groups in Pittsburgh have been a constant thorn in the side of the Allegheny County Council on a proposal for a relatively small fracking lease to drill under public lands. Before the 15-member council tonight is a proposal that calls for the county to enter into a lease with Texas-based Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley, a local driller, to drill for natural gas beneath the Deer Lakes Park.

Under the proposed lease, there would be no drilling on the surface of the 1,180 acre park. Instead, drilling would be on private property in the townships of Frazer and West Deer. Proponents point out that the lease would generate about $8 million dollars to the county (including monies for park improvements) plus 18 percent in royalties, and create needed jobs.

Environmental groups and a diverse galaxy of private citizens are arguing that fracking is known to harm water, air, land and human health, that drilling based on current fracking technologies has proved risky in almost all parts of the world where it has been practiced, and that the proposal is in reality a slick stalking horse for future drilling throughout the Pittsburgh area.

After months of public hearings and informational meetings about the lease proposal, it goes before the council for a final vote.

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The Council in action.

Posted by JD Hull at May 6, 2014 08:07 PM

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