Group urges rejection of anti-drilling petitions

YOUNGSTOWN – Business, labor and community leaders in support of the oil and natural gas drilling industry on Tuesday urged residents not to refuse to sign petitions that would place an anti-oil and gas industry charter amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Members of the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment said supporting the amendment would hurt jobs and economic growth.

Regional Chamber President and CEO Tom Humphries urged city residents to refuse to sign the petition and to oppose the anti-fracking, injection well initiative. “The voters have already spoken,” he said, referring to a similar measure that was soundly defeated in May.

Opponents of the oil and natural gas industry are circulating petitions required to place the measure entitled a “community bill of rights” on the November ballot.

The coalition on Tuesday said the measure is unconstitutional, unenforceable and would send a negative message to the oil and gas industry that the area is not interested in job growth.