Just days before they vote on a bill to ban natural gas drilling within the city of Pittsburgh, Council held a public hearing on the proposal. About 45 people testified....many from the city....some from surrounding suburbs and one as far away as Washington, D.C.
All the speakers supported Councilman Doug Shields' proposed ban on drilling within the city confines.
Jeanne McMullen of the city's Lincoln Place neighborhood delivered a petition with 2,000 signatures asking council to pass the ban....
"I want to thank you for your courage in taking this bold step. It's the first step in protecting our health, our property, our homes, our rights."
15 year old Sarah Truax of Point Breeze told council she's worried that drilling will hurt her generation and generations to come.
Ed Bortz of the North Side told council they can capture the nation's attention if they approve the ban.
Candace Seymoure of the South Side Slopes said Pittsburgh has come too far to allow drilling....
"We used to be known as a smokey city. We've watched steel mills fall. We've rebuilt ourselves and changed our identity. We've rebuilt ourselves into a modern green city."
Pittsburgh Council could take a preliminary vote Tuesday on the proposal that would
prohibit any corporation from extracting natural gas within the city of Pittsburgh with the exception of gas wells installed and operating at the time the ordinance is enacted.
Critics say that the city can limit where drilling occurs but does not have the authority to outright prohibit all drilling.