It is refreshing to be able to focus on positive reports in this seemingly endless war of corporate financial power vs citizen rights. We are bombarded with tainted commercials and glossy ads from Exxon Mobil and other gas industry organizations suggesting that all is honky-dory in the drilling world and corporations are our best friends working to keep us cozy and safe. Bull.
The breadth of tentacles of fossil fuel drilling are unending! From the site of the well pad, to the path of the pipeline, to the miles of roads to the very air we breathe and the water we need for life, the industry has an enormous impact. But when corporate money seeks to change the basic structure of our democracy for it's own interests, the final line must be drawn.
Home rule, aka local zoning, has been the backbone of building this
country one community at a time. It represents the very building block of a democratic society. It is the legal tool
by which we define ourselves and extend ourselves into the greater state
and national scene. To be able to choose where one lives and maintain that community is one of the grandest freedoms we can know.
The announcement from the PA Supreme Court this
week to uphold a community's right to home rule is monumental and every state must take note. See Earthjustice Press Release December 19: In Big Victory, PA Supreme Court Rules Local Towns Retain Zoning Power
What just happened in the PA ruling is important and a breath of fresh air not only for Pennsylvanians but for all citizens living in areas threatened to be taken over by corporate powers. Town by town, court cases in NY have been upholding the community's legal right to home rule. Each victory is significant for the future of our state as a whole. We must maintain that democratic principle.
The grassroots movement to expose the dangers of fossil fuel drilling via fracking has shown it's strength by never giving up in the face of corporate money and power. We will continue the work and I have no doubt we will continue to grow in numbers as more and more people understand the full reach of the tentacles. Our focus remains on a sustainable, renewable and non-toxic energy future for all citizens.