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State College Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Community Bill of Rights to Ban Fracking

November 9, 2011

“We’re really excited; this is a big win,” said Braden Crooks of Groundswell in State College, PA today.  Yesterday, State College voters turned out a 72% “YES” vote on a community bill of rights to ban fracking.  While the content of the bill of rights is similar to that of Pittsburgh and other groundbreaking bans, what’s unique here is that it’s the first successful popular vote of this type in the U.S.

The vote came less than a week after an exploding compressor station in Bedford County, PA reminded voters just how unsafe gas drilling is.  Two coordinated rallies celebrating this victory and confronting the gas drilling industry are planned for Friday, November 18th in State College, at noon and 1:30 pm respectively.  Protecting Our Waters will be there.

Read all about yesterday’s popular vote in the Groundswell press release below, submitted by Braden Crooks and Peter Buckland:

Groundswell Press Release:

Contact Braden Crooks: 703.863.1003  bradencrooks@gmail.com

and Peter Buckland, (814) 206-4959, peter.evolves@gmail.com

**STATE COLLEGE VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVE COMMUNITY BILL OF RIGHTS TO BAN FRACKING**

What: The first popular vote in the nation on Community Rights to Ban Fracking

When: Tuesday November 8th

Where: Borough of State College, PA

Who: The voters of State College, Groundswell PA, Sierra Club Moshannon Group, Environmental Coalition of Centre County, Eco-Action Student Club, The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

This is an historic day for State College.

The voters sent a clear and loud message by voting for a Community Bill of Rights and Fracking Ban by a margin of nearly 3 to 1. The Bill creates the rights to clean water, clean air, a healthy environment, and community integrity. Several organizing groups sponsored the Bill including Groundswell PA, Sierra Club Moshannon Group, Environmental Coalition of Centre County, Eco-Action Student Club, and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

“This vote was made all the more important by the recent push in Harrisburg though HB 1950 to keep communities from having a say in their future when it comes to fracking,” says Braden Crooks, Groundswell’s founder. “The voters have made it clear: Corporations might run Harrisburg, but they don’t run our town. And they don’t run the people of Pennsylvania.”

This is the first amendment petitioned on the ballot by citizens in State College, and with the Yes Vote is now the most formally supported issue the voters of State College have ever presented to their local government.  “We are confident our local government will support the will of the citizens,” Crooks said.

This was the first popular vote on a Community Bill of Rights to Ban Fracking in the nation. Citizens are pushing for change all across America, and this is an incredible example of democracy at work to create positive change for a sustainable future. 

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