“It’s climate, it’s our future, it’s our environment, it’s just the wrong way to go about providing energy to people,” Roxanne Groff of Save Ohio Parks said. “We should be dealing with renewables.”
On Monday, four parcels of land that belong to the Ohio Department of Transportation, were approved to be bid on. Those four parcels will now be advertised for 30 days before the commission selects the highest and best bidder to frack under that land.
“Signs and slogans make for good headlines, but that’s not what the industry is all about,” Mike Chadsey, Director of Public Relations for Ohio Oil and Gas Association said. “We are about producing the commodity efficiently and effectively and responsibly.”
The vote on three Ohio Department of Natural Resources parcels of land was tabled.
“There were some concerns that we just needed additional time as a commission to discuss before we had a consensus,” Chair of the commission Ryan Richardson said.
The three tabled parcels are in the valley run wildlife area.
ODNR did ask for specific provisions — like that the well pads are at least 1,000 feet away from the property, and that there are limitations to fracking during hunting season.
One of the parcels up for nomination is more than 300 acres.
“They’ll see the towers, they’ll see the lights, they’ll smell the methane,” Groff said. “The trucks, the trucks will be 24 hours a day, nonstop.”
Chadsey said the drilling is temporary and will be a mile or two away.
The commission has nine factors to consider before approving a nomination for bidding, those include economic benefits, environmental impact and public comment.
“We’ve been doing this for over 100 years, so there’s active wells all across the state of Ohio,” Chadsey said.
One of the hold-ups to approving the ODNR property was the royalty percentage, given the size of the parcel. But opponents said Monday’s delay is only a temporary victory in an uphill battle.
“What we have to make sure we do is get it right, and get it right the first time,” Chadsey said.
The commission will meet again to further discuss the three ODNR parcels. Right now, no date is set for that meeting.