A citizens group cleared the first hurdle in bringing a citizens initiative to the legislature, and potentially to the voters, to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” as a means for harvesting oil and natural gas.
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on April 14th okay’d the petition language that will be used by a committee known as Let’s Ban Fracking Michigan. The group will have 180 days to collect enough signatures to put the issue before the legislature, and if the legislature does not act on it, before the voters.
This will be the groups third attempt at getting the required signatures.
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce protested the language before the board. Michigan Chamber President/CEO Rich Studley said of the board of canvassers decision: “We’re very disappointed in today’s decision by the State Board of Canvassers to allow a badly flawed petition to ban hydraulic fracturing in Michigan to be circulated by a group that is not being straightforward with voters about the content of their proposal. The petition language is deliberately vague and fails to give voters fair notice that this proposal is an unprecedented attack on private property rights that would limit energy production, result in lost jobs, increase the cost of home heating and substantially reduce state funding for parks and recreation.”