|Ohio's First Fracker: Gov John Kasich (R)|
The Columbus Ohio Dispatch
The Ohio Senate tackled a pair of controversial measures yesterday, one allowing oil and gas drilling in state parks and the other permitting Ohioans to opt out of a new federal requirement that they purchase health insurance.
Looking to cut into almost $500 million in backlogged maintenance projects at its state parks, the Senate voted to open parks and some other public land to drilling, giving Ohio lease payments and one-eighth of the royalties of what some say are expansive resources, particularly under parks in southeastern Ohio.
Some warned that the hydraulic fracturing technique - chemical-laced water is used to force gas from shale deposits deep in the ground - is unproven and could have significant environmental consequences. But supporters insist the technique is safe and far below groundwater deposits.
Energy production in our state is more important now than it has ever been before," Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Powell said, adding that in 2010, Pennsylvania got $128 million from leased state lands for drilling, and more recently, Michigan received $178 million."