Ohio Communities Face ‘Voter Suppression’ in Push to Rein in Oil and Gas Development

By Simon Davis-Cohen • Sunday, September 24, 2017 – 06:03

Three years in a row, communities in Ohio have attempted to vote on initiatives that would grant them greater say over oil and gas development in their jurisdictions, but over and over again, appointed officials, some with direct ties to the fossil fuel industry, have put up roadblocks preventing these initiatives from reaching the ballot.

We’re losing our ability to legislate and be a check and balance on the government,” Tish O’Dell of the Ohio Community Rights Network told DeSmog on September 15.

O’Dell had just learned that yet another local ballot measure — this one in Bowling Green, Ohio — was facing a possible legal challenge. “The Bowling Green initiative is the only one that made it through all the administrative hurdles to get on [the ballot],” O’Dell said.

It is the latest in a flurry of anti-fossil fuel ballot initiatives across Ohio which have gained the required number of signatures but likely won’t appear on ballots come election day. This year, initiatives in Youngstown, Medina County, and Athens County have all been taken off the ballot.

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2.9 Million Children Are Threatened by Toxic Air Pollution From Oil & Gas Development

A new analysis of state and federal data shows 2.9 million children enrolled in schools and daycares across the country are threatened by oil and gas air pollution. Released by the national environmental group Earthworks, this new analysis is part of a larger update to The Oil & Gas Threat Map, a map-based suite of tools designed to inform and mobilize Americans about the health risks from the oil and gas industry’s toxic air pollution.

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The State of Colorado Is Being Sued by…the Colorado River?

 | SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 | 9:45AM

The Colorado River is about to have its day in court – and not as the subject of a lawsuit, but as the plaintiff.

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the United States, the state of Colorado is being sued by the Colorado River in an attempt to establish “personhood” for the river and its rights to exist, flourish and regenerate.

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The State of Colorado Is Being Sued By…the Colorado River?

 | SEPTEMBER 22, 2017

The Colorado River is about to have its day in court – and not as the subject of a lawsuit, but as the plaintiff.

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the United States, the state of Colorado is being sued by the Colorado River in an attempt to establish “personhood” for the river and its rights to exist, flourish and regenerate.

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Weld County Council election to cost voters $150K

September 18, 2017 1:50 PM· By Sherrie Peif

GREELEY – A ballot initiative in November asking Weld County voters to disband the Weld County Council will cost 10-15 times the normal yearly cost to fund the council.

According to Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes, preliminary estimates are the election will cost the county just under $150,000.

The Weld County Council is a governing body unique to Weld County. It was written into the Weld County Charter when Weld became a home rule county in 1976 to oversee the county’s other elected officials without state interference.

It’s usual yearly operating cost is $10,000-15,000. In 2017, it had an additional $50,000 for the purpose of performance audits on the Clerk and Recorder’s office and the Board of County Commissioners. That cost is not regular or normal. In fact, it is not known when, if ever, the council has ever ordered performance audits in the past.

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Green-Energy Success Stories From Hurricane Irma and Beyond

Juan Cole

After Hurricane Irma in Florida, millions have been without electricity. But those Floridians who had solar panels plus an inverter or a Tesla powerwall were able to recover electricity immediately. Likewise, cities used solar to power traffic lights and other essential services after the huge storm had blown past.

Likewise, solar panels kept the lights on in India during the horrific storms and floods of monsoon this year.

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California Passes Immigrant Protections Bill

Julia Conley / Common Dreams

ov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the California Values Act, passed by lawmakers Saturday, which would make the state a “sanctuary state” with new protections for undocumented immigrants.

The 27-11 vote, along party lines, was reached after lengthy negotiations. But immigrant rights groups applauded the final bill, noting that it represented a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, including the Justice Department’s threats to withhold law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities.

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