June 15th, 2012 By Hannah McCartney | News | Posted In: News

State Officials Determined to Assess Fracking Potential

State parks, forests undergoing assessment

Imagine: You take your children to the park for a leisurely stroll beside some calm lake waters. You're looking for pure, unadulterated nature; an escape from the industrial hullabaloo that is city life.

Instead, you find several areas of the park blocked off, occupied by massive machines sucking out shale and oil through the process known as "fracking."

According to an investigative report from The Columbus Dispatch, that image might not be far off. Dispatch found that 18 employees from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have been working to assess the availability of Utica shale in parks and forests across the state, resources that could eventually be marketed to oil and gas drilling companies.

The concentrated push has involved a widespread, coordinated effort to examine public records and assess original mineral rights on Utica shale across the state. In the past, drilling companies have offered as much as $5,000 per acre to landowners in Eastern Ohio to procure mineral rights.

The undertaking potentially signifies ODNR's interest in profiting from fracking sales in the future; cataloging mineral rights means easing the process of selling land to drillers once they make initial offers.

Fracking, the relatively new drilling technology that involves blasting thousands of gallons of water into the earth to fracture shale and free trapped, valuable natural oil and gas. It's been touted as a way to expose previously unavailable areas underground for drilling and has been subject of discussion on its economic value and potential.

06.16.2012 at 09:00 Reply

Fracking is not "relatively new"  it has been around longer than television and it typically using millions not thousands of gallons for each well...


06.17.2012 at 12:21 Reply

This is an absolute travesty and a despicable move by the ODNR. I find it perplexing that we still persue these attempts to further our dependency on oil. Oil is not the answer, it is a finite resource that has been prooven to cause harm to humans when combusted. As a nation we should be shifting our resources towards renewable energy for the future, like solar power. I feel disgusted to be living in such abackwards thinking nation, especially one where nearly entire generations that have come before mine, still believe that the US is infallible, and "the best nation in the world" We are not. We're suffering in education, we incarcerate far more individuals than any other first world nation, many for victemless crimes. We're a country driven by money, by greed, and with ignorance towards the greater good of humannity. It's depressing, I want to feel pride in my country, but it is headlines like these that make me a little less proud everyday. I think it is time that we find something to be proud of, our state parks are one of those things, so let's protect them, so the next generation of Amerians can enjoy them too.