The Stark Summit Coalition released a statement on their website Tuesday, February 25, to point out that Ohio Governor John Kasich failed to discuss energy policy during his State of the State speech. The administration has spent the last three years praising the oil and gas industry, what gives?
Posted with permission from http://starksummit.org
Maybe it was his recent comments that he is no longer going to pursue drilling in state parks after a memo leaked by the Ohio Sierra Club revealed ODNR and the administration working on a PR campaign to sway public opinion on drilling in state parks. Energy, namely from shale drilling, is a topic that Governor Kasich has spent his entire term as governor championing, and yet, failed to utter a word about energy development in the State of Ohio as part of his speech. Coincidence? We think not.
The Stark Summit Coalition (SSC) recognizes that there are a multitude of sociopolitical issues across the State of Ohio and that it would be a great task for the Governor to take on every single one. However, energy has been a central focus of this administration and more generally the nation. Increased energy development across the nation have also led to a rise in environmental devastation from spills, explosions, leaks, and more. Water supplies have contaminated in some areas while other parts of the country face drought and water rations. Should Ohio risk its delicate waterways?
Governor Kasich promised Ohioans jobs from shale development. Job reports reveal that coal, mining, logging, and oil & gas account for about 80 jobs per year in Ohio (http://ohiogasdrilling.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/pogco-factsheet-actual-job-numbers.pdf). Clearly, industry development is not doing much to support Ohio’s growing need for job creation.
Gov. Kasich made it a point to talk about bottom up solutions and made claims that he wants to see more of that. Currently, Ohio law grants The ODNR the sole and exclusive authority over oil and gas drilling. Communities are not allowed to decide for themselves when, where, of if a gas well is permitted. The same agency that was caught plotting a PR campaign with the industry it’s supposed to regulate is the only agency that has a say over oil and gas operations across Ohio. That doesn’t sound like bottom up governance to us!
While Governor Kasich did not have much to say about the oil and gas industry in Ohio, SSC asserts that Governor Kasich needs to issue an immediate moratorium on fracking, pending a full environmental, health, legislative and economic assessment. Then, a minimum of one year is needed for the public to review these materials and decide accordingly. After all, the governor said that we need bottom up solutions: shouldn’t that include energy decision?
Please join SSC and Food & Water Watch and email Governor Kasich demanding an immediate moratorium on fracking in the state of Ohio by clicking here.