The exact text of the ballot question:
Shall Article II of the City of Warren's Home Rule Charter be amended to add a "Bill of Rights" enumerating rights to water, natural communities, sustainable energy future and local self government; banning natural gas extraction, except installed and operating wells; banning deposit, storage or transport of natural gas extraction by-products; and elevating the rights created under this amendment above those rights claimed by persons or corporations violating this amendment?
The exact text of the plain English Summary:
Warren is a "Home Rule" City. This means it creates its own laws on any topic not exclusively regulated by the State or Federal government. The set of local laws that govern the city are collectively referred to as the city's charter. The charter may be amended either by action of the elected government officials or through a citizen petition.
This ballot question is presented as the result of a citizen petition. the amendment proposes an addition to the Home Rule Charter establishing a local "Bill of Rights" which asserts the right of residents of the city to local self-government, to water, and to a sustainable energy future. It establishes rights for natural communities and ecosystems, and empowers community members with legal standing to enforce those rights.
To secure the local bill of rights, persons or corporations would be prohibited from extracting natural gas within the city, with the exception of gas wells already established and in operation at the time of adoption of this amendment. Those wells would not be allowed to extract gas using any new or unconventional processes. Also, the storage, depositing, and transport of so-called extraction by-products (including but not limited to "produced" water, "frack" water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products from unconventional development of natural gas from shale formations, within, upon or through the land, air or waters of the City of Warren) within the city would be prohibited. In addition, corporations engaged in the extraction of natural gas, or intending to do so in the city would no longer be legally viewed as "persons" and could not avail themselves of protection of the state or federal constitutions in a way that would nullify the rights of human and natural communities recognized in those constitutions and by the city charter. Corporations would also be denied the power or authority to challenge or overturn municipal ordinances or adopted charter provisions.