Fracking

Fracking in State Parks

Gov. John Kasich signed the new state budget into law, but with 47 line-item vetoes. The Ohio House of Representatives overturned 11 of those vetoes, including Kasich's veto on allowing the Ohio General Assembly to take over appointing members to the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission. This could lead the way to fracking, or the process of drilling to extract oil and gas from shale rock, in state parks and other public lands.

Today we look at the process and the impact of this decision.

‘Government Violating Own Laws to Pave Way for Fracking Plan’ in Ohio’s Only National Forest

“The Wayne National Forest is home to many species who can’t afford to have their habitat damaged by oil and gas development,” said Nathan Johnson, public lands director with the Ohio Environmental Council. “We need to do all we can to protect wildlife that can’t protect themselves.”

Industry, Environmental Groups Plug Bill To Address 'Orphan' Oil And Gas Wells Across State

Melanie Houston, director of Oil and Gas for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, also relayed her group's support for the bill.

"Orphan wells pose a hazard to the environment and to human health and safety," she said. "Until they are located and properly plugged, they are pathways to pollution."

Ms. Houston said the risks include fire, overflow of oil or brine into ecologically sensitive areas like streams, and underwater contamination. She noted orphan wells have been found under buildings, houses, lawns and recreation areas in both rural and urban settings.

Off the Trail- A Conceptual Walk in Wayne National Forest

Keep Wayne Wild (KWW), is a group of dedicated volunteers working to protect Wayne National Forest (WNF) from predatory gas extraction activities. KWW works to highlight the beauty and intrinsic value of Wayne National Forest. It is well known that people will protect what they love, and to that end, we have created: “Off the Trail- A Conceptual Walk in Wayne National Forest.” It is our goal to showcase all that is wild and visually powerful about Ohio’s only national forest.

Hands Off Public Land! Rally to protect public land from fracking

Alliance for Ohio’s Future will hold a public demonstration on Wednesday, June 14th at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest HB 49, a state budget bill that contains Amendment HC 2241, which strips the governor of the power to appoint members to the 4-member Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, and gives these appointment powers to the speaker of the house and president of the senate.'

This state park could be the number one target for fracking operations

Salt Fork State Park is Ohio’s largest state park, and one of its nicest. Located in Guernsey County, it also happens to be in a region with a lot of natural gas activity. Salt Fork’s size and location make it the number one target for fracking operations should the Ohio General Assembly open state lands to drilling this summer.

Learn more about the Ohio House’s proposal to allow fracking in state parks here.

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