IMPORTANT! - SEE INFORMATION BELOW WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATOR GOV. KASICH'S BILL - S.B. 315 - LEAVES OHIO WIDE-OPEN FOR FRACKING - LEAVES OHIO'S HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS WIDE OPEN! - GOVERNOR WANTS BILL TO PASS BY JUNE 30th!
An important message / action from Ohio Citizen Action. Please consider writing a quick note to your Legislators.
Governor Kasich's new idea: Leave Ohio wide-open for fracking
Ohio Governor John Kasich's energy plan promotes new, risky forms of gas and oil drilling. To advance this energy plan, Kasich has written bills to leave Ohio's health and safety regulations wide open. Governor Kasich wants the bills passed by June 30, so legislators can leave Columbus to run for reelection.
Kasich's bill S.B. 315 would make it easier for oil and gas drillers from Texas and Oklahoma to use the notorious practice of "fracking," a combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, in our state. Fracking involves high-pressure injection of toxic chemicals underground to get oil and gas out of the rock. No one knows the long term effects of this new form of drilling.
The right to know
People living near a fracking well have the right to know how much of which chemicals the drillers are using. That's the only way they'll know if there is a danger of contaminating the drinking water supply.
We are denied our right to know in the current version of S.B 315. As it is, oil and gas drillers would only have to tell the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, not citizens, the chemical class of the chemicals they're using, which could be one of hundreds of chemicals in that class.
Drillers could wait up to 60 days after the well is completed to do that. Citizens need to know what chemicals are used in the process before a well is drilled so that drillers can be held responsible for contamination instead of acting like it wasn't their fault.
Emergency responders, like firefighters, wouldn't be told exactly what chemicals are onsite until they are literally on their way to an emergency. Firefighters need to know what chemicals are used at a site before they get there, because some require special measures to clean up. Fracking fluid is known to include benzene, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, lead, and diesel. We need to know the rest of the chemicals too.
The right to say "no"
In 2004, the Ohio legislature gave "sole and exclusive authority of all aspects of oil and gas drilling and production" to the Department. This means that local municipalities don't get to decide if and how drilling happens in their communities.
Then, in 2010, the legislature authorized "mandatory pooling," in which landowners could be forced to let drillers use their land even if they objected to it. The law doesn't specify a limit on how much land is needed for a driller to request a mandatory pooling order, so it's up to the chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management, a part of the Department of Natural Resources, to decide at their discretion how much land can be taken without permission.
Communities should have "home rule" that allows us to prevent drilling in our communities if we don't want it. S.B. 315 currently makes no mention of restoring home-rule.
Please write your local legislators and Senate President Thomas Niehaus: