Proposed gas drilling ban in city wins friends, foes such as Tom Ridge
Publication Type:Newspaper Article
Source:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2010)
Diametrically opposed viewpoints on the Marcellus Shale boom competed for attention Tuesday with Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields seeking a citywide ban on natural gas drilling and former Gov. Tom Ridge hailing the industry's "transformative opportunity" for Pennsylvania.
Despite questions about the legality of a ban, Mr. Shields unveiled a bill that would prohibit gas extraction anywhere in the city, even if drilling companies have already acquired leases from property owners. Speaking at a morning news conference at the City-County Building, Mr. Shields said drilling hearkened a return to Pittsburgh's polluted industrial past...
Last month, Mr. Ridge and his two consulting firms received a one-year, $900,000 contract to serve as strategic advisers to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a Cecil-based trade group. However, the former two-term governor said he was approaching the job with the interests of his former constituents in mind...
...Mr. Shields described drillers as "quick-buck artists"; criticized their "paid mouthpieces," including Mr. Ridge; and said the city wouldn't be treated like a "colony" of a state government that puts the drilling industry's interests ahead of the people's. He also lashed out at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who opposes a citywide ban because of the economic development potential of gas extraction.
"I understand every government is strapped for cash, but that's not a reason to degrade the quality of life in our city and in our neighborhoods," he said.