Pittsburgh Moves Closer to Banning Gas Drilling

The Pittsburgh City Council put its support behind a bill that would outlaw drilling in the city. The bill will likely be challenged in court. The Allegheny Front's Ryan Delaney was there.

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The Pittsburgh City Council put its support behind a bill that would outlaw drilling in the city. The bill will likely be challenged in court. The Allegheny Front's Ryan Delaney was there.

DELANEY: The council put a unanimous preliminary vote behind the ban that will become official in the coming week.

The new law will make it illegal to drill for natural gas within Pittsburgh, but the bill may be illegal itself. Similar bans by towns and cities in Pennsylvania have been struck down in court; overruled by the Commonwealth's Oil and Gas Act.

That didn't stop Councilman Patrick Dowd from supporting the measure. He says just because similar bills have failed before, it doesn't mean the city shouldn't still try. For him, the issue comes down to protecting one basic resource.

DOWD: There is nothing, there is absolutely nothing, more important than the quality of water here in the city of Pittsburgh or for any community. You need a few things to have a city. One of which is drinkable, potable, water. Without it you can't have a city.

DELANEY: Dowd is currently working on a bill that would introduce new zoning rules to limit gas production in the city.

The council is looking into how much it would cost to defend its new ban in court.

For the Allegheny Front, I'm Ryan Delaney.