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Anti-fracking petition drive to launch this weekend

Anti-fracking protesters stand outside of Constitutional Hall in Lansing
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
Anti-fracking protesters stand outside of Constitutional Hall in Lansing

A petition drive is launching this weekend in an effort to ban a controversial natural gas extraction process.

This will be the third time the campaign’s tried to get a question to outlaw fracking on the Michigan ballot.

LuAnne Kozma is leading the effort. She says with every attempt, it’s gotten easier to get people to sign the petitions.

“As soon as they know a little bit about fracking, they understand. They get it. They know that it’s harmful. They know that it’s going it impact health, and their property values, and they’re communities,” said Kozma.  “Whether it’s small towns in New York state, or small towns in Texas, they’re trying to do everything they can to protect their lives, their children, their property, and that’s what we’re doing here, too.”

Many business groups oppose the petition drive. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is leading an effort urging people to refuse to sign. 

Rich Studley is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which is launching a campaign urging people to refuse to sign.

“This dangerous petition to totally ban fracking would result in fewer jobs and higher home heating bills. It is bad public policy. We must have safe, reliable, affordable energy,” Studley said.

The campaign has six months to gather more than 252 thousand signatures of registered voters. That would put the question before the Legislature or on the 2016 ballot. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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