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Official proposes delay in fracking

Published: Thu, September 8, 2011 @ 12:11 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



A Democratic state lawmaker has proposed a moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing until a new federal study on the impact of the growing oil and gas drilling method is completed.

Sen. Michael Skindell, from the Cleveland area, also wants increased regulations on the practice, known commonly as “fracking” and touted by supporters for the potential economic boon it could bring to Ohio.

Skindell introduced two bills this week on the issue. One would call for a temporary halt to horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the state until after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finishes a study on the potential impact to drinking water.

That study is expected to be completed in a year or two.

The other bill would establish additional requirements for hydraulic fracturing activities and the disposal of brine and wastewater that result from the process.

“We believe that a moratorium on this process until we get a report from the EPA is responsible,” Skindell said. “In addition, we believe that the minor regulations [in the proposed legislation] is a responsible measure.”

Neither bill is expected to get much traction in the GOP- controlled state Legislature. Similar amendments were offered and defeated during legislative debates earlier this year.

Republicans and Gov. John Kasich have voiced support for high- volume horizontal fracturing, an emerging method of extracting oil and gas by pumping large volumes of water and chemicals into underground shale formations.

Proponents believe fracking will increase energy production in the state, add funds to the state coffers and promote job creation and economic growth in drilling-related industries. They also say that hydraulic fracturing has been in use in the state and country for decades and is safe thanks to existing regulations.

But opponents want a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until adequate safeguards are in place to protect the environment.

“This does not say no forever to deep-shale gas development,” said Jack Shaner, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Council, which supports Skindell’s legislation. “But it does say slow down, let’s take our time, let’s get the best available science and let’s get the most protective safeguards and regulations in place to guide the sensible, thoughtful, responsible development of this significant resource.”


1glbtactivist(321 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Finally a representative who wants to protect the citizens from greedy oil well drillers. The horrible history of fracking for gas is well documented. Drinking water systems after drinking water systems destroyed. Thousands damaged so a few can get their greedy hands full of cash.

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Greedy hands full of cash? These people take great risks exploring for energy and provide a needed service for which they are rightly rewarded. My house, as is most of those in Ohio, are heated with natural gas. As Obama continues his assault on coal generated electricity we will need more NG to make electricity.

What is the biggest thing going on in Ytown right now? V&M Star! What do they make? Seamless tubes for the NATURAL GAS industry! This legislation would shoot ourselves in both feet multiple times! Give thanks that the GOP controls the legislature.

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3Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

global activist must have a job and must not care about those that don't.This industry is on track to creating thousands of jobs and millions and millions of dollars of income/profits. But I guess true to form another lefto wacko would rather have people dependent on the US Government for our every need. Well almost every need, for energy they would prefer we be dependent upon the Middle East.

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I see that gas will be in short supply and very pricey thanks to Sen. Michael Skindell .

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5city_resident(528 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I support moderation, like Skindell. He's not proposing that we never utilize these resources, just that we make sure we don't poison ourselves for the sake of some jobs.

Weren't the Republicans recently crying about the plight of our children having to pay off our debt? Personally, if I had to choose between paying a debt, and living in a poisoned environment, I'd choose the debt.

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6Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Moderation ! You have got to be kidding, or you are clueless to the meaning of the word MORATORIUM.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"That study is expected to be completed in a year or two."

I'm sure that a couple of years or more with no drilling would be good for the economy of Ohio . Perhaps Sen. Michael Skindell should be looking into running for president in 2012 . He is a very smart man . We need more liberals like him to save us from those conservatives .


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8city_resident(528 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"Moderation ! You have got to be kidding, or you are clueless to the meaning of the word MORATORIUM."

I know what moratorium means. Perhaps we have different ideas of what moderation means?

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