Two Pennsylvania groups are sponsoring an Oct. 6 conference on home rule in Greensburg, Pa.
The program will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center.
Registration opens at 9:30 a.m.
The conference is being presented by the Community Environmental Legal Defsne Fund and the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network.
Here is the press release they distributed announcing the conference:
STOPPING MARCELLUS SHALE GAS DRILLING AT
THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL
A Conference for Municipal Officials and Community Leaders
Co-Sponsored by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the
Pennsylvania Community Rights Network
Dear Municipal Officials and Community Leaders,
In 2004 with the passage of House Bill 278 the Ohio state legislature stripped municipalities and urban townships of any remaining authority to regulate oil and gas drilling, declaring the ODNR to be the “sole and exclusive authority” in these matters. On May 24 the State Assembly passed Senate Bill 315 to further regulate fracking in the Utica and Marcellus shales, key portions of which were written by the gas industry.
This should come as no surprise. Corporations have repeatedly used state legislatures to preempt community control over: mining, banking, timber harvesting, the dumping of sewage sludge on farm land, factory farming, water withdrawals, corporate use of genetically modified seed, and oil and gas drilling.
All of these areas of preemption share a common thread - that large corporations and their “non-profit” lobbying groups have used our state legislature to make laws that exempt themselves from local democratic control. Such a scheme of preemption revokes community self-determination and subordinates community majorities to the decisions of corporate minorities. Our municipalities have been turned into corporate resource colonies, with the approval of the General Assembly in Columbus.
At a meeting of local officials on December 13 iin Pennsylvania, Jules Lobel, professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh said “I think the broader problem is - how are we going to fight this doctrine of preemption which in this state has wreaked havoc in a whole number of areas. The people who are the municipal leaders are going to have to figure out some way you are going to organize your townships to say we’re not going to accept this.”
Would you like to join us in our efforts to do just that?
On Saturday, October 6 2012 in Greensburg, PA, CELDF and the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network will co-sponsor a one-day conference to talk about how communities are standing up to state sponsored corporate preemption. The conference has been situated in eastern Pennsylvania, close enough to the Ohio border to allow for attendance from Ohio local officials and community leaders.
This isn't another conference about what you are not allowed to do. Instead, we’ll be talking about bringing our communities together to challenge this assault on local democracy by asserting community rights, and by organizing to create the state constitutional change needed to ensure the right to enact local laws protective of health, safety, and welfare, as well as the civil and political rights of the people. We want to share stories about what over 130 communities have done to assert their inherent right to local self-government, and how you too can do this.
We ask that local officials place this invitation on the agenda at your next public meeting and decide to send at least one local official as a representative to this conference. Community leaders and active citizens are welcome as well; your participation is essential to moving forward. Please join us as local elected officials and citizens empower themselves to prevent fracking in their communities.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Team
Date: October 6th Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (registration begins at 9:30 a.m.)
Location: Greensburg Garden and Civic Center
951 Old Salem Road
Greensburg, PA 15601
The Conference is Free, but RSVP is required to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-498-0054. Please include your name, title, municipality and county, address, phone and email.
For more Information: Contact Stacey Schmader at email@example.com or call 717-498-0054.