October 31st, 2011
When residents of the State College Borough take to the polls on Nov. 8, they will join several other Pennsylvania communities, including Warren and Peters Township, in casting ballots that have the potential to make history and spark controversy.
The citizens of these towns will, for the first time ever, issue popular votes on amendments to their town charters that include environmental bills of rights and bans on natural gas drilling.
These referendums are the fruit of a growing grassroots movement in which communities are asserting their right to self-government, in particular, the right to protect their natural resources. But the possibility that these measures violate Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act has drawn opposition from drilling companies, state officials and local politicians.....continued......