Giving Voters a Say on Natural Gas Drilling

Aug 22, 2013

Who should decide whether Allegheny County drills in its parks?
Credit Flickr

When it comes to drilling for natural gas in the county’s parks, Allegheny County councilman Matt Drozd thinks the decision should be up to the voters. That’s why he recently introduced a resolution that will require the board of elections to ask voters if they should be consulted before the county approves drilling beneath a county park.

“Let them make a decision too and join in. They’ll learn more and they’ll feel more a part of the process,” Drozd said of his proposal.

Drozd doesn’t want to stop at just giving the people a say over the drilling, he wants to give the people a share of the revenue as well, by diverting one third of natural gas revenue from the county’s parks into a fund for park improvement. Drozd sees this as a much needed measure, and described the condition of Allegheny county’s parks as “deplorable.”