Johnson County Commissioners Oppose Fracking Proposition


By Nick Hausen

VIENNA -- There was a heated meeting in Johnson County Wednesday to discuss a ballot issue that would ban fracking . Voters will weigh in on that ballot referendum in March. 

Hydraulic fracturing has been the source of much debate in the community in recent months. Wednesday, the county commissioners announced a coalition opposing the ban on fracking. They say an outright ban is too radical and not in the state's best interest. Some residents think the commissioners are overstepping.

"I don't think that a county commissioner has any right to form a coalition of any kind to affect a ballot initiative," said concerned citizen Annette McMichael.

"Johnson County can't ban fracking because there's state law in place," explained Commissioner Ernie Henshaw. "Johnson County can not ban fracking and when we ban fracking, we open ourselves to lawsuits not only from energy companies, but we also open ourselves to lawsuits from citizens."

Fracking opponents collected a thousand signatures to put the referendum on the ballot. The Johnson County fracking ban will be up for a vote in the March 18 election.

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