On the heels of the first state Oil and Gas Commission meeting Thursday, state Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today introduced legislation that would protect Ohio’s parks and nature preserves from the impacts of fracking. The proposed bill will ensure adequate protections for Ohio’s state and local parks by refusing any new well permits for lands typically enjoyed by families and people who enjoy the outdoors.
“It is my hope that we can all share a vision for our state that includes meeting our energy needs without ever having to sacrifice our beautiful state and local parks, forests, nature preserves, and wildlife areas,” said Leland. “Conserving Ohio’s public lands ensures they will be around for future generations to utilize and enjoy.”
This year’s state-budget-veto showdown between Gov. Kasich and Ohio House Republicans resulted in the appointment of members to the vacant Oil and Gas Commission, which is responsible for issuing drilling licenses for state lands. The commission held its first meeting Thursday in Columbus.
The footprint and disruption of fracking, or horizontal drilling, is much larger than conventional oil and gas wells, raising additional concerns over habitat fragmentation and wetland destruction. Fracking also typically costs Ohio’s communities much more in added cleanup, greater wear and tear on roads, and significant emergency response needs.