Fracking industry to make political news

Aired October 25, 2012 on WYSU

One issue that concerns all of us in Northeastern Ohio is fracking. Although it’s not on the ballot this fall, it is on the political agenda. Doug Livingston reports.

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Many of us are weighing the pros and cons of oil and gas drilling in our neighborhoods. Millions of acres have been leased. And billions of dollars are expected to flow into communities and schools.

With investment opportunities surging, the two major parties in Mahoning County are willing to move forward with oil and gas exploration with caution.  Here’s Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe.

We should be excited about it. We need to embrace it. Let’s help it grow, let’s nurture it … but like everything else nothing comes without a price or problems, we have to deal with those problems in a sensible, responsible way.

Mahoning County Democrat Chairman, Dave Betras”

I have not polled my members but I can tell you if I was to press my members they would be cautiously optimistic and want to have the fracking go forward. As long as it could be done safely.

The only concrete opposition comes from the Green Party, here’s Howard Markert who’s running for Mahoning County Commissioner.

I am completely opposed to hydraulic fracturing and I am calling for a ban to put in place for the county.

Makert says there’s too much risk of human error and mechanical failure to gamble with more drilling.

The Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, funded by the gas and oil industry, projects gas and oil producers will spend $34 billion in exploration and development of the Utica Shale in the next five years, including $ 478 million in tax revenues, $1.6 billion in royalties for landowners, $12 billion in annual salaries for more than 200,000 new Ohio jobs by 2015.

Chris Davidson contributed to this report. Andrew Bush edited. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Doug Livingston.

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