Amid the sea of colorful, plastic campaign signs scattered around Peters are angrier, bolder signs flapping in the wind, screaming “VOTE NO!! Protect Your Township,” and “Vote Yes! Protect Our Property Values.” They are part of the battle for the hearts and minds of voters in this affluent municipality of about 21,000 residents. The fight, which has already garnered attention from the national media, pits residents and energy companies who advocate drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas formation against a citizens group that is seeking to ban it in Washington County’s most populous municipality through a voter referendum on Tuesday.
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