Small Votes, Big Impact on Nexus



By Abby Shifley and By Abby Shifley

At the end of July, the BG Climate Protectors committee turned in over 1,230 signatures to approve their proposed charter amendment that sought to restrict the installation of fossil fuel infrastructure in Bowling Green city limits, including the Nexus pipeline. Now, citizens of Bowling Green will be able to vote on the charter amendment on the November ballot.

    “All this really comes down to now is a regular voting issue. It’s going to be a yes or no-type thing,” Brad Holmes said, president of the BGSU Environmental Action Group and an active member of the Bowling Green Climate Protectors.

    Holmes and Lisa Kochheiser, an organizer for the Ohio Community Rights Network and University alumni, explained a number of red flags the charter amendment confronts. Holmes said the proposed route of the Nexus pipeline will cross under the Maumee River — where the Bowling Green water treatment plant is located — as well as over the Bowling Green fault line.

    “Apparently the fault line hasn’t been active for a long time, but we’re not too confident in the fact that will stay the same,” Holmes said.

    The pipeline is planned to be just south of the Waterville limestone quarry, where a number of explosive demolition processes occur on a weekly basis.

    The pipeline’s close proximity to a number of questionably unstable areas has an impact on Bowling Green.

    “16 total communities get their drinking water from Bowling Green,” Kochheiser said, “including the Bowling Green State University campus.”

    Because this pipeline affects University students, the BG Climate Protectors are sending a call-to-action to students.

    “We are urging the importance of everyone going out to vote for (the charter amendment),” he said. “Oct. 10 is the last day you can get registered to vote and cast your opinion towards this important issue.”

    Holmes also said getting students at the University to be involved in the politics of Bowling Green would allow other projects and initiatives to have more support. University students make up a significant portion of the Bowling Green population.

    “Voting only for the president isn’t always the most important thing. Your vote, statistically speaking, matters more in local elections,” Holmes said.

    Kochheiser said now, more than ever, people need to understand how change can be made, especially on a local level.

    Holmes said the Board of Elections will have the legislation up on its website in the next week, and people can find more information on the charter amendment on the BG Charter Amendment Facebook page.