Community Members Hold Vigil for Worker Killed in Gas Explosion and Testify at City Council Meeting
Following an explosion yesterday at a natural gas well in Bolivar Township, Ohio, that left a 19-year-old worker dead, local residents gathered last night at Chesapeake Energy’s Canton office to protest Mayor Healy’s request that the Canton City Council approve the company’s plan to lease city-owned land for fracking.
Mourning the death of the oil and gas worker, protestors marched in a silent vigil to Canton City Hall, where they testified in opposition to the Mayor’s plan before the Canton City Council.
Earlier this year in Healy’s State of the City address, he dubbed Canton the “Utica Capital,” clearly demonstrating his support for the controversial practice of shale gas drilling. But a growing number of residents and concerned council members are now working to block his efforts to drill on city-owned property.
Kristine Vaughan, local coordinator for Food & Water Watch, said, “We are asking city council to uphold its responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of Canton residents and water customers. Risking permanent contamination of our city water supply for a short-term gain hardly seems logical. I’m certain that neither Mayor Healy nor city council wants to jeopardize the health of their constituents for a budget band-aid.”