Butte Co. Anti-Fracking Petition Needs a Closer Look

Jul 24, 2014 12:11 PM by Scott Howard

The fate of a proposed initiative that would ban the oil and gas exploration method known as hyrdraulic fracturing in Butte County still hangs in the balance after an initial random survey of the petition's signatures.

Butte County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs told Action News Now Thursday that the initial survey did not meet the necessary threshold to allow her office to certify the petition without a full check of all signatures. Grubbs noted that having to do a full check of signatures for petitions is not uncommon.

The group behind the petition, Frack-Free Butte County, submitted 8,748 signatures. The petition needs 7,605 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

In the midst of a one of her office's busiest times, Grubbs also said that the full recount will not be done in time to make the Board of Supervisors July 29 agenda since the count would have to be done by Friday to make the agenda, which by law has to be posted 72 hours prior to a public meeting.

If the petition is certified, Grubbs said it will then be up to the Board to decide whether to hold a special meeting later on to decide whether to adopt the ban or take it to the voters to decide in November.

The Board has already held a first, non-binding vote on the issues back in April when it voted 4-1 to ban fracking in the county.

This latest development comes on the heels of Wednesday's court decision to even allow the petition process to move forward after Grubbs was forced to nullify the petition because wording and format defects on the petition submitted by Frack-Free Butte County.


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