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  • #426123
    Manatee
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    Legislation Proposes Gas Exploration on Ohio’s Public Lands

    It has been legal to explore Ohio’s privately-held land for fuel resources for many decades. Now, new legislation including Ohio House Bill 133, Ohio Senate Bill 108, and Governor Kasich’s proposed state operating budget propose setting up a board of individuals to approve or deny oil and gas leasing on Ohio’s public lands. The issue is a complex one because the State of Ohio does not necessarily own the mineral rights to its public lands, and public lands include beloved areas such as state parks and preserves, certain sports stadiums or the Statehouse itself. Opinions are divided about where revenue from the sales of any fuel obtained from public lands would go, as well as if any potential revenue is worth the potential risks.

    Exploration for fuel could include drilling as well as hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”), which is in use for about 90% of all natural gas wells. Fracking is the use of water pressure applied deep within the ground to crack apart rock formations, rendering any fuel inside of them more accessible. Sometimes chemicals are added to this water to increase its solvency, and some of these chemicals are undisclosed to the public. Water used in fracking can make its way into the groundwater, surface water, and drinking water of the region undergoing fracking. Many residents of areas where fracking is in use report dangerous chemicals in their drinking water, including carcinogens and flammable chemicals. For the moment, the State of Ohio, advised by the EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, has denied Ohio wastewater processing facilities the permits required to process the water generated from fracking, known as “brine”. This includes processing brine from other states. Fracking also disrupts underground geologic pressure, and may contribute to seismic events such as earthquakes. Congress has requested that the EPA undertake a new, broader study of hydraulic fracturing. The report is due to be released in 2012. Here is the Draft Study: http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/upload/HFStudyPlanDraft_SAB_020711.pdf

    Fracking in general raises many of the same concerns as accessing other natural resources. The communities affected by fracking may at first see an uptick in economic activity; followed by possible environmental or quality of life consequences, and finally, the region may suffer depression as the resource is tapped out and economic activity moves elsewhere. Nonetheless, in our straitened economy, some would argue that practices like fracking generate much-needed economic gain in the short-term. This is for each citizen to consider.

    To contact your US or Ohio elected officials, go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

    To join the National Grassroots Coalition against Fracking, email Sharon Goodman at smg1510@aol.com .

    #426124
    rus
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    Interesting article about fracking:

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/05/17/a-better-way-to-frack

    Two sections in particular:

    Sounds like bad news. But when you read the fine print, the Duke researchers admit that “based on our data, we found no evidence for contamination of the shallow wells near active drilling sites from deep brines and/or fracturing fluids.” Despite its misleading title, the study did not find that fracking as a technique contributed at all to the natural gas found the nearby water wells. In fact, the gas-rich shale lays several thousand feet below strata of impermeable rock from shallow surface drinking water aquifers. Instead, bad well casings that also occur with conventional gas wells appear to be the culprits. States already set standards for constructing proper well casings and impose penalties when companies fail to comply.

    and

    In his March energy speech, President Obama declared, “We’ve got to make sure that we’re extracting natural gas safely, without polluting our water supply.” So far the evidence suggests that the worst fears about hydrofracking appear to be considerably exaggerated by opponents of natural gas drilling. Nevertheless, a technology like gas-fracking may be just what the president is looking for.

    #426125

    Red Sun Rising
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    So, the House passed SB133 a couple weeks ago and the Ohio Senate passed SB108 yesterday. Brilliant.

    Meanwhile, fracking in Arkansas is aggravating fault lines and causing earthquakes there. Scientists in the area already have strong proof and the government there has a moratorium in place against more fracking ( for the time being). Found here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22667

    and then here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fjWAro-haI

    I was sitting across from a geologist who said in his expert opinion “the risks were too high and that a moratorium should be placed on Fracking” while we spoke to Senator Hughes’ aide a couple weeks ago. They were uninformed of the issues and could only state that “They were not at liberty to tell us what Senator Hughes’ position was- he was in information gathering status.” Funny he wouldn’t sit with us and somehow after months of debate about the issue, his aide was completely uninformed and, was also the aide on his staff that had already put notice in for another job. This exemplifies how serious Hughes took the OEC Lobby Day which had over 15 concerned community citizens and experts in that meeting with Hughes and several hundred of us converge on our state representatives that day.

    This is the status from Buckeye Forest Council as it happened yesterday:

    “Passed out of Ag committee and recommended to the Rules committee.

    Schaffer- Amended to allow public input, Yes Included

    Wilson-That parks that are to be drilled would receive 30 % of proceeds to stay in that park. Yes Included

    Grendell- Requires the driller to give the EPA and local board of health a list of chemicals used in the wells so they know what to watch for in their aquifer. Schaffer moved to table and not include in the bull. Was not be included votes to include wilson, brown schavoni, grendell all others opposed.

    Grendell- Create a fund for locals to use when wells are contaminated.

    Fund available for OEPA and Local health to sample water to make sure that it is not contaminated.

    Grendell- Moritorium on drilling until after USEPA study is completed.

    Grendell-Require that all water is recaptured and treated

    Grendell- Require that driller comply with Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

    Grendell- Baseline testing of surface and ground water prior to drilling so that there can be something to compare with.

    Grendell- No oil and gas drilling under lake erie.

    Grendell-Provides for Indemnification so that they are responsible for any contamination.

    Grendell-Standards for wells and pits and disposal.

    Grendell-Requires public notice and hearing

    Senator Schaffer moved to table all of Senator Grendell amendments so that they would not be included in the legislation. Grendell, Schavoni, Brown and Wilson all opposed there not being included.

    Senator Schavoni amendment- Property that is owned or in controlled by a state agency. Approval must be made by the state agency not the leasing board. Senator Schaffer moved to table the amendment and not included in the bill.

    Senator Brown- Requires attorney general to create standard leasing form. The AG is more accountable than the Oil and Gas commission. Senator Schaffer moved to table the amendment and not include

    Senator Brown- Oil and Gas drilling be prohibited under Lake Erie. Senator Schaffer moved to table the amendment and not include in the legislation.

    Schavoni Grendell and Brown voted against.”

    ******
    Also of interest: “Senator Jimmy Stewart replaced on Senate Ag and NR committee by Senator Jordan- sponsor of drilling bill in the senate.”

    “Senate Committee hearings on drilling in parks. Rep Stewart still sitting on committee even though he is going to work for Big Gas Company.”
    ******

    To say that this is shady, wrong, and reeks of squalid putrescence is a woeful understatement. Remember this come election time.

    #426126
    groundrules
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    Fracking greenhouse footprint said to be worse than coal? Interesting component:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/155101-report-gas-from-fracking-worse-than-coal-on-climate

    #426127
    Walker Evans
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    Senate OKs ‘fracking’ in state parks
    Wednesday, June 15, 2011
    BY JIM SIEGEL
    The Columbus Dispatch

    The Ohio Senate tackled a pair of controversial measures today, one allowing oil and gas drilling in state parks and the other permitting Ohioans to opt out of a new federal requirement that they purchase health insurance.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/06/15/senate-oks-fracking-in-state-parks.html?sid=101

    #426128
    Alex Silbajoris
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    Today’s front page of the Dispatch has a composite photo of playing cards, poker chips, a bottle of beer, and a pistol (pointed at the camera) and an oil well. That’s a keeper.

    #426129
    joev
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    Goddamnit – these politicians are wrecking the state, bit by bit.

    #426130
    Alex Silbajoris
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    Yes, but now they can afford fancier tombstones to memorialize our decisions for future generations to admire.

    #426131

    Red Sun Rising
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    Here was the vote from the House per the Buckeye Forest Council:

    HOUSE COMMITTEE VOTES DOWN DEMOCRATIC ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE DRILLING BILL

    Several Democratic Members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee today introduced amendments to the House drilling bill, (Sub. HB 133), that would have protected the health of Ohio citizens and the environment. However, each of these amendments was voted down on a straight party-line vote:

    · Rep. O’Brien introduced amendment banning drilling in Natural Areas and Preserves. Voted down 12-6.

    · Rep. Phillips introduced amendment for a 2-year moratorium on fracking in parks until comprehensive environmental impact statement is completed. Voted down 12-6.

    · Rep. Phillips introduced amendment to prohibit open storage pits and pipeline construction in parks. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. O’Brien introduced mandatory testing to monitor for water contamination. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Clyde introduced amendment that would require drillers to comply with federal environmental regulations: the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Clyde introduced amendment to recycle, capture, and treat all produced water and to disclose all chemicals used to frack in state parks. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Murray introduced amendment to keep drilling out of Lake Erie. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Gentile introduced amendment to have public hearings on permits. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Murray introduced amendment to use a state standard lease instead of an industry standard lease. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Murray introduced amendment to allow local communities to veto drilling permits. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Murray introduced amendment to balance Leasing Commission to ensure that environmentalists have equal say, and that a member of a statewide sportsmans’ association be added to the commission. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Gentile introduced amendment requiring posting of bond prior to drilling for repair of roads and bridges, and for reclamation. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. O’Brien introduced amendment requiring that some lease royalties go to the Ohio EPA to monitor water resources and help health commissioners. Voted down 12-7.

    · Rep. Phillips introduced amendment to require indemnification from any wells that are drilled to protect from water loss and water impact. Voted down 12-7.”

    ******End of Buckeye Forest Council statement ******

    We need to get these people out of office:

    Representative Adams, J.

    Cosponsors: Representatives Beck, Blessing, Boose, Brenner, Buchy, Burke, Combs, Gonzales, Goodwin, Grossman, Hackett, Hall, Hayes, Huffman, Landis, Maag, Martin, McKenney, Rosenberger, Ruhl, Sears, Stebelton, Thompson, Uecker, Wachtmann, Young, Amstutz, Blair, Hagan, C., Hottinger, Mecklenborg, Newbold, Roegner, Slaby

    Senators Faber, Schaffer, Bacon, Coley, Daniels, Hite, Jones, Jordan, Niehaus, Seitz, Widener, Wilson, Lehner

    If you have time, you can witness the contempt and cavalier behavior demonstrated by arrogant and clearly corporate owned majority:

    http://www.ohiochannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=131157&returnTo=Collection

    The 129th general assembly is the first in my time not to allow filming without prior approval of the hearings leading up to the vote, a transparent maneuver intended to shroud the evidence of the cadre of various groups, experts and communities of people vehemently opposing this initiative with a massive amount of considerations this assembly did not yet have answers to. The fact that people cannot record the open contempt towards the respectful dissenters who had very strong evidence and arguments against this bill is indicative of how reckless these “representatives” (a very lose term in this case) are. They are relying on the fact that people are too busy to pay attention, too apathetic to do any thing about it and have too short a memory. Prove them wrong.

    #426132

    berdawn
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    Sad, sad outcome but not unexpected. I am afraid Ohio is the new WV when it comes to our natural resources.

    #426133
    joev
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    Some people are happy, because now the parks will get some of the improvements they need. But that’s a false choice – Kasich and the legislature could have provided that funding in the budget. There is no real reason to drill or frac. Once these parks are damaged, we can’t get them back again. And the state makes a paltry sum from the whole deal. Sad.

    #426134

    Scioto Tower
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    Forget about the parks for a moment. This whole fracking ballyhoo is nonsense. Some guy with nothing to back up his claims (as in proof that the faucets that caught fire was from the natural gas and not naturally occuring methane in the water table) makes a documentary, and everyone starts saying its bad. How many of you truly know anything about the process other than this movie or some tree hugger organization? The EPA already did a study once and found fracking is not dangerous. This process has been going on in Ohio since at least the 60′s. It went unnoticed by anyone until the last few years. Don’t you think people would have noticed something wrong w/ it over the past 40 years? There are already 60,000+ wells in the State of Ohio…did you know that? It is possible a human involved in this process could make a mistake and screw up sombody’s well, yes. It doesn’t happen often. Is the process already regulated…yes!!! But, people have car accidents, should we all stop driving? There are driving laws aren’t there? Do you have any idea how much shale drilling will help Ohio’s ailing economy? Trust me, Ohio is learning a lot from PA (PA was not prepared for the influx of drilling at all). Incidents will happen, but by and large, you won’t even notice what is going on unless they are drilling in your backyard. Even then, they come in, drill the hole, frack the well, remove almost all the equipment, put the land back in order and all that’s left are some tanks and a wellhead. I bet everyone who is running for the hills over this uses nat gas? I gurantee that gas was brought from the ground using the fracking process, whether it was in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, New Mexico..or Ohio or PA. I just love when people go nuts over a topic without knowing the first thing about it. Then someone mentioned injecting brine into the ground. This also has been going on for decades…my hair isn’t green! Injecting it in the ground is much better and much safer than treating it and putting it in the waterways. This brine is much saltier than ocean water and last I checked, not too many cities are treating ocean water for drinking..what makes you think water with a saltier content can be treated enough so it doesn’t mess up the freshwater rivers and streams? Point is, all of these processes have been going on for years and years and are safe. Accidents happen, but the processes, when followed correctly, are safe. Some big companies like Chesapeake try to go too fast and they are the ones usually making the mistakes.

    #426135

    Red Sun Rising
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    joev wrote >>
    Some people are happy, because now the parks will get some of the improvements they need. But that’s a false choice – Kasich and the legislature could have provided that funding in the budget. There is no real reason to drill or frac. Once these parks are damaged, we can’t get them back again. And the state makes a paltry sum from the whole deal. Sad.

    All is not lost yet. We can keep this on the radar. We can kick these “representatives” out and repeal their reckless policies. But we need people to organize and engage. TODAY!

    Cheryl Johncox is someone you can trust to do just that, and she is running for office this next term. I hope there are others.

    #426136

    Red Sun Rising
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    Scioto Tower wrote >>
    Forget about the parks for a moment. This whole fracking ballyhoo is nonsense. Some guy with nothing to back up his claims (as in proof that the faucets that caught fire was from the natural gas and not naturally occuring methane in the water table) makes a documentary, and everyone starts saying its bad. How many of you truly know anything about the process other than this movie or some tree hugger organization? The EPA already did a study once and found fracking is not dangerous. This process has been going on in Ohio since at least the 60′s. It went unnoticed by anyone until the last few years. Don’t you think people would have noticed something wrong w/ it over the past 40 years? There are already 60,000+ wells in the State of Ohio…did you know that? It is possible a human involved in this process could make a mistake and screw up sombody’s well, yes. It doesn’t happen often. Is the process already regulated…yes!!! But, people have car accidents, should we all stop driving? There are driving laws aren’t there? Do you have any idea how much shale drilling will help Ohio’s ailing economy? Trust me, Ohio is learning a lot from PA (PA was not prepared for the influx of drilling at all). Incidents will happen, but by and large, you won’t even notice what is going on unless they are drilling in your backyard. Even then, they come in, drill the hole, frack the well, remove almost all the equipment, put the land back in order and all that’s left are some tanks and a wellhead. I bet everyone who is running for the hills over this uses nat gas? I gurantee that gas was brought from the ground using the fracking process, whether it was in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, New Mexico..or Ohio or PA. I just love when people go nuts over a topic without knowing the first thing about it. Then someone mentioned injecting brine into the ground. This also has been going on for decades…my hair isn’t green! Injecting it in the ground is much better and much safer than treating it and putting it in the waterways. This brine is much saltier than ocean water and last I checked, not too many cities are treating ocean water for drinking..what makes you think water with a saltier content can be treated enough so it doesn’t mess up the freshwater rivers and streams? Point is, all of these processes have been going on for years and years and are safe. Accidents happen, but the processes, when followed correctly, are safe. Some big companies like Chesapeake try to go too fast and they are the ones usually making the mistakes.

    I think you might want to read mine and some of the other previous posts here that show that there are significant problems associated with this, beyond what Gasland has to present. The process that has been going on for the last 60 years has changed since 2005. Why do you think these companies needed to access the last less than one half of one percent of Ohio’s lands? JOBS??? Are you actually going to talk about a paltry few transient jobs by out-of-towners whose largest contribution to Ohio’s economy is a hotel stay, some gas for their vehicles and a few meals? The initial influx of money the duped land owners receive the first year and then a dramatic drop off of production there after? The fact that once one of those wells are on your property, no bank will fund a mortgage on the property leaving the owner stranded with god knows how many wells they decide to put out there once they are on your land. Have you read a lease agreement? Just curious, what is your occupation? Please take a good look at all the common sense and important safeguards listed in the Buckeye Forest Councils line item account that our present majority of representatives gave the finger to and tell me what you are suggesting is safe. Wow. You must think we are total simpletons or brain dead here already.

    #426137
    joev
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    Geology is a complex thing. Just because fracking was safe in one location doesn’t mean it will be safe everywhere.

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