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Group asks court for more time to put fracking ban on Michigan ballot

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Boxes of petition signatures are piled up in front of the Michigan Secretary of State's office

Activists trying to ban fracking in Michigan are asking a court to give them more time to put the issue on the ballot.

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique which uses water and chemicals to crack ancient rock formations, releasing oil and natural gas. Opponents claim fracking is damaging to the environment. 

The petition campaign has fallen far short of collecting enough signatures to let voters decide whether to ban hydraulic fracturing.

LuAnne Kozma is the campaign director. She insists the shortfall should not be seen as a lack of interest by Michigan voters. “They do care. What they are not doing is stepping forward enough, in my view, to actually help,” says Kozma.

To date, organizers say they have collected a little more than 200,000 signatures. But that is both well short of what they need and were collected for six months longer than the current statute permits.

Kozma says a time limit imposed on the petition process is the main problem. 

“You’re just physically limited but what humans can do in their volunteer time,” says Kozma.  

Fracking activists hope the court will give them more time to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the 2018 ballot. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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