Worries of inadequate legal representation in the fight against fracking led the St. Tammany Parish Council to increase funding for legal counsel by $100,000 last week. The council had originally allocated $25,000 for a court hearing scheduled next month to argue for the parish’s right to prohibit fracking through zoning ordinances. Some community members, however, question the use of taxpayer funds to prohibit an activity that would bring in revenue in the form of oil and gas tax. From The Times-Picayune:
“Hy McEnery, a landowner and former longtime resident of the parish, concurred. ‘I think it’s wasteful spending of taxpayer money.’
He called the fears about fracking a ‘bogus issue,’ maintaining there have been no instances of hydraulic fracturing polluting water supplies in the United States.
‘This is ridiculous. I can’t understand why you would hold back the economic development of this parish.’
Regarding fracking, he said, ‘We need it here in St. Tammany Parish. We need it all over the country.’”