PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh City Councilman says he wants to see Marcellus Shale drilling within city limits.
City Council discussed the bill proposed by Councilman Patrick Dowd which would allow some drilling in the city, but with strict guidelines.
The bill sets up mineral extraction districts and specific guidelines about just where they could be.
The current law, passed in 2010, bans drilling outright. It could be overturned in the court system.
Pittsburgh City Council moved Dowd’s bill to the City Planning Commission for review.
“First of all, it’s the first time in many, many, months that we’re legally allowed to do this, so we’re sliding it in at a time where we’re allowed to do this,” Dowd said.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to make a political statement that we believe in zoning and most importantly, it’s an opportunity to consider a bill or a set of bills which are designed to protect the health and safety of citizens and due process of property owners.”
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith pointed out the economic opportunities that Marcellus Shale drilling could provide, but also her concerns.
“I also don’t want to miss the opportunity for jobs in the City of Pittsburgh,” she said. “In this economy, we want to see people working. I just have some issues with the whole drilling in general, to be honest with you, but I think it’s worth a conversation.”
After the bill is sent to the planning commission, there will be public hearings before the issue goes back to City Council.