August Newsletter from the Office of Councilman Patrick Dowd


Dear friends in District 7,

Pittsburgh City Council recently voted 6-3 to pass Bill 2011-1939 which would authorize a referendum amending the Home Rule Charter. I was one of three council members who voted against it.

Please know that a ban on drilling in the city is already in place and even if successful this referendum would provide no additional protection for our citizens or our environment. As a community, we are better off channeling our energies and resources adding multiple layers of protection instead of more of the same. These additional layers would include a zoning code amendment and a noise ordinance as well as working with municipal authorities up-river encouraging them to refuse even initiating processes that would allow them to accept contaminated wastewater. I am working on these bills and hope to bring them to a vote this year.

While this was marketed as a Marcellus shale drilling ban, there was a lot of additional language
denying the legitimacy of state or federal laws as well as rights guaranteed under the Pennsylvania and US Constitutions. These sections, among others, make the legislation illegal and will likely keep it off the ballot.

I supported the drilling ban back in November as an interim step while we established other layers of protection. Our goal should be to add more layers of protection for citizens and the environment and not to be satisfied with the thin layer of the ban.

Patrick Dowd