fracking

Statehouse News Bureau

One of the Democrats running for governor is calling for an end to oil and gas drilling in Ohio. While his four primary opponents aren’t embracing that idea, they agree that more needs to be done to protect the environment. 

Dennis Kucinich says he wants to use eminent domain to shut down fracking wells and initiate a class-action lawsuit to make fracking companies pay for damage to the environment.

“Those who have poisoned Ohio’s people and the land will be made to pay.”

Connie Pillich disagrees with Kucinich’s approach.

Drilling Crew
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Trump administration decided quietly over the holidays to abandon proposed federal regulations governing fracking on public lands. For Ohio environmentalists, the decision is big and bad news. For Ohio’s oil and gas industry, it’s a practical approach to regulation. 

Drillling rig in northeast Ohio
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Ohio’s oil and gas drilling boom started in 2010, peaked in 2013 and has been fading since then.  Now there are signs it may be picking up again. 

Larry Hecht runs Pier-48 on the Ohio River.  It’s an intermodal terminal for loading and off-loading barges.

At the height of the shale boom it got 25 bulk shipments of drilling supplies like barite a month. Then came the bust, and that traffic stopped.

work on drilling pad
Tim Rudell / Drillling Pad Construction

Speculation is continuing among analysts and in trade publications that eastern Ohio’s Utica Shale play may be firing up again.  July numbers for things like drilling rig count and infrastructure investment are expected to be up again. 

Utica Shale Drillling RIg
Tim Rudell / WKSU

How much has shale drilling meant to Ohio’s economy? A new report by researchers from Cleveland State and Youngstown State universities says more than $50 billion since 2011.   

The study, led by Andrew Thomas of Cleveland State, used government and industry data to determine how much has been invested in developing Ohio’s Utica shale.

But he says that’s only part of the picture.

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