Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Plain Township Trustee Louis Giavasis may be getting an anti-fracking alliance with Alliance City Council.  Giavasis will have an ally if Alliance City Councilman Steve Okey (also the Democratic candidate for mayor in November's general election) get his way with Alliance City Council.

Giavasis recently was successful in getting Plain trustees to pass a resolution calling for a moratorium on fracking until more is known about the dangers to the drinking water supply should a fracked well go bad.

While Canton Councilwoman Mary Cirelli is also active on the fracking issue and Canton also has passed a resolution calling for a moratorium, the SCPR does not believe that she has the gravitas on the issue that Giavasis has and The Report doubts that Canton would ever pass a ban on fracking as Plain might do if state legislators do not require drillers to have adequate bonding/insurance to cover any and all damages should a fracked well pollute drinking water supplies.

In an e-mail dated February 17, 2011 addressed to state Senator Scott Oelslager (R-Plain) as well as to Representatives Slesnick (D-Canton), Schuring (R-Jackson) and Snitchler (R-Lake), Giavasis has let it be known that Plain will go to a ban if the township cannot be assured of adequate bonding/insurance to cover any losses sustained as a consequence of a hydraulic fracking catastrophe.

Councilman Okey became concerned when he learned that Alliance had been approached by natural gas industry drillers about the possibility of drilling on city owned land for deep underground (in Marcellus and Utica shale strata) natural gas deposits encased in rock (i.e. the shale).

Okey tried last night at the regular Alliance City Council meeting to get his proposed ordinance passed.  However, Councilmen Andreani (who will oppose Okey as the Republican candidate for mayor  in the November election), Dordea (also Hartville Chief of Police), Rhome and Thompson all voted note on Okey's attempt to get his measure passed as an emergency ordinance.

As can be seen in the video that accompanies this blog, the proposed ordinance has been referred to Law Director Andrew Zumbar for review and will be taken up for discussion by the Committee of the Whole.

Three Alliance residents spoke against fracking in the public speaks portion of last night's meeting.  Their comments can also be seen in the video.

It is too early to tell, but it could be that Okey's proposal could get caught up in the Alliance mayoralty race.  If Andreani, after giving the matter more study, opposes the measure on a Council up or down vote and carries Dordea (R), Rhome (R) and Thompson (D) with him, then look for the matter to be a major issue in November.

Here is a video of the fracking discussion and vote last evening.

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