Thursday, November 6, 2014

Communities pass Fracking bans, industry sues/ FRA head to resign

Two Suits Already Filed in Response to Passage of the Denton Fracking Ban

A state agency and an oil and gas industry association each filed lawsuits seeking declaratory relief and an injunction...

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund reports
ATHENS, OH: With 78% of the vote, Athens, OH, residents overwhelmingly adopted a CELDF-drafted Community Bill of Rights banning fracking and related activities, securing their rights to a healthy environment, to local self-governance, and the rights of nature. The new law also eliminates the authority of oil and gas corporations to wield their corporate “rights” against the community.  Learn more here.
MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA:  Over 67% of Mendocino County, CA, citizens voted to adopt a similar CELDF-drafted measure – the Mendocino County Community Bill of Rights Fracking and Water Use Initiative – in partnership with Global Exchange. Click here to read more.
CELDF ELECTIONS UPDATE BLOG: Community Rights took a big step forward in yesterday’s elections, with a record number of CELDF-drafted measures on the ballot in Ohio, Oregon, and California. What happened, where, and what’s next? Read more here.

FRA’s Szabo headed back to Chicago

11/05/14   by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief    Railway Age

Joe Szabo  
Joe Szabo Photo courtesy Cathy Morrison, Missouri Department of Transportation

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo will be stepping down from the post he has held since April 2009 and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will be on staff at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)—effectively returning to his Chicagoland roots.....
....In recent months it has been speculated that Szabo could be departing the FRA. Railway Age first broke the news that Szabo’s job was in jeopardy following his attempt to mandate two-person crews (see Frank Wilner’s April 11, 2014 blog, “Data drought haunts FRA crew-size mandate.” See also “Is FRA’s Szabo headed to the STB?” Sept. 29, 2014).
Joe Szabo is the 12th Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) and was the first to come from the ranks of rail workers. He is a fifth-generation railroader who for many years worked commuter and freight trains as a conductor in the greater Chicago area.....  read more here

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