New coalition works to defeat amendment that would ban fracking - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

New coalition works to defeat amendment that would ban fracking

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Youngtown is open for business. That's the message a newly formed coalition of business, labor and political officials hope to send to the oil and gas industry. As they work to defeat a citizen-developed charter amendment that would ban fracking in the city.

"No one is going to want to come to they Valley, move their business here if the hurdle is not only to relocate a business but to have to fight some litigation to prove to the rest of the Valley or the rest of the business industry that you can do business here in Youngstown," says Don Crane with Western Reserve Building Trades.

Members of the group say they are concerned with the language of the charter amendment.

Attorney Alan Wenger says it could be interpreted to outlaw certain deodorants, household chemicals and exisiting oil and gas wells.

"This document as a law as part of the city's charter is just crazy. There is no sense to it at all," Wenger says.

However, members of Frack Free Youngstown say the bill specifically targets fracking.

"The citizens bill of rights are about our public right to be healthy ... for there to be clean and healthy water," says Tom Cvetkovich with Frack Free Youngstown.

While many of the coalitions members agree with Frack Free Youngstown's stance on keeping the environment safe, they don't believe this charter amendment is the way to achieve it.

"Anyone could be effected by this. Can you imagine a constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution that says any citizen has the right to enforce any law of the United States of America. Clearly, that is government by chaos. That is not the way we do things," says Attorney David Betras.

The final word will be left up to the voters when they have the chance to weigh in on May 7.

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