By a 7-0 vote, the Bowling Green City Council has approved an ordinance that bans fracking and disposal of fracking waste fluids in the city limits.
Now the question becomes how strong the action would be if it is ever challenged in court.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources claims it maintains legal authority to issue all drilling permits throughout the state, even in cities that pass ordinances to ban the activity.
But Bowling Green City Attorney Michael Marsh, in a letter to council members, said he wrote the ordinance to be a part of the city’s criminal code, not its zoning code.
The University of Tennessee has momentarily shelved its plan to conduct fracking research at the Cumberland River Research Forest after no oil and gas companies bid on the project.
University officials said the feasibility of the research will be re-examined. The proposals called for leasing the roughly 8,600 acres of UT property in Scott and Morgan counties to a drilling company. The only response came from Pittsburgh-based CNX Gas Company, which gave a “no-bid” response letter saying the research was not economically viable for the company under the restrictions outlined by the university.
The Energy Department recently gave Dominion Resources permission to export liquefied natural gas from its southern Maryland terminal to countries that don’t have free-trade agreements with the United States. The department said that Richmond, Va.-based Dominion has received conditional approval to expand exports of natural gas from its Cove Point terminal in Calvert County, Md. Dominion previously had been authorized to export the fuel only to countries that have free-trade agreements.
The department said Dominion is now conditionally authorized to export up to 770 million cubic feet of natural gas a day over a 20-year period.