Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Ohio Senate is calling for a fracking moratorium, when will Colorado?

Dix Capital Bureau
Oct 13, 2011

COLUMBUS -- Democrats in the Ohio House have joined one of their minority party counterparts in the Ohio Senate in calling for a moratorium and increased regulations of an emerging means of extracting oil and gas from underground shale deposits.

Rep. Denise Driehaus, from Cincinnati, and Rep. Nickie Antonio, from the Cleveland area, hope to convince the Republican-controlled chamber to pass bills they are sponsoring to ensure horizontal hydraulic fracturing doesn't hurt groundwater supplies and areas around wells.

Driehaus introduced legislation Wednesday that would stop fracking activities until a federal study on the potential impacts is completed.

"Due to the potential environmental hazards and dangers to the surrounding land and drinking water, it is vital that we establish a moratorium on horizontal fracking of oil and gas wells while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completes a study on the relationship of hydraulic fracturing to drinking water resources," Driehaus said.

Antonio plans to introduce a bill that would establish additional reporting requirements for fracturing activities and the use and disposal of brine and wastewater used in the process.

Comparable legislation was introduced in the Ohio Senate last month by Sen. Mike Skindell, a Democrat from the Cleveland area.

The bills, however, are not expected to gain much support in the Republican-controlled legislature.
Rep. David Hall, a Republican from Millersburg who serves as chairman of the committee that would take up the bills, said Wednesday that the state already has stringent regulations to protect the environment. And he said hydraulic fracturing has been in use in the state for decades.

"I'll read the bills, but I don't see these things merit moving forward in the near future," Hall said.

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