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Johnson County Residents Standing Strong Against Fracking; Other Side Said “This Whole Thing W

Johnson County residents are standing strong against fracking, according to the Johnson County residents interviewed in this WSIL interview.  Opponents of the ballot initiative admit that “This whole thing wasn’t about fracking.”   Johnson County officials are apparently concerned about establishing local rights for counties, and have said repeatedly that the vote wasn’t about fracking.  This reiterates the need for SB3326 which would give counties the clear authority to deny fracking permits (the same right which municipalities already have), so rural residents would have the same rights as residents living inside of municipalities, and the issue at hand would actually be fracking!   Clearly the issue of fracking isn’t going away, and we have a long road ahead of us to keep our homes, families, and communities safe.

The Johnson County citizens who worked to support a ban on fracking in Johnson County have issued the following press release JOHNSON COUNTY CITIZENS DENOUNCE ELECTION OUTCOME ON COMMUNITY RIGHTS / FRACKING REFERENDUM AS ILLEGITIMATE.

Further insight into the combination of factors working against the ballot initiative (including big bucks put into defeating it, local media blackouts, distraction from the issue of fracking, and more) are found in this article from The Southern.  The article contains quotes and perspectives from local Johnson County residents, a quote from CELDF – which helped get the referendum on the ballot at the behest of Johnson County residents who do not want fracking, and another quote from opponents of the ballot initiative admitting the vote wasn’t about fracking.

Local Johnson County residents who do not want fracking are quoted as explaining that:

their opponents – with a $20,000 war chest largely, at least one county commissioner on their side and local media blackouts – confused voters by distracting from fracking as the central question.  “That’s why they have to focus on the bill of rights and take away the real focus of fracking because it’s so very bad for everyone. You can’t drink and breathe oil,” said Belinda Halvorsen of rural Vienna, visibly upset but vowing the “fight” would continue.

From CELDF:

“It is no surprise … given the obvious collusion between local and state elected officials, the industry and the media to impede the democratic process,” the group said.

From opponents of the ballot initiative:

He noted that within his group, the issue was not so much over fracking as it was concern that the referendum could lead to a “community bill of rights” that would be used to curtail other industrial practices, such as the use of chemicals in agriculture.

And a response:

Proponents of the measure maintained as they have throughout the pre-election debate that the issue was only about fracking, a controversial drilling method using a blend of chemicals and water to extract gas and oil formally known as horizontal high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

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