You get headlines like this in the Columbus Dispatch:
And if case you had any doubt that there’s a connection between the sudden popularity of this proposal and Kasich’s appointment of a Dubai oil/gas consultant to run ODNR:
Faced with a projected $8 billion budget deficit and an estimated $560 million backlog of overdue repairs at state parks, the new director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says he’s "open" to the idea of drilling on 600,000 acres many thought were protected from exploitation.
Anticipated revenues? Well, according to a VP at the Ohio Oil and Gas Association: $30 million (which means probably less than that, given the source.)
Oh, and it gets better:
Buried thousands of feet underground, Ohio’s Utica shale was once considered unreachable. But a new drilling technique that uses high-pressure water to fracture the rock has produced large quantities of gas from Pennsylvania shale fields. Gov. John Kasich called drilling in this shale a "godsend for our state."
"There is real potential there to help a lot of people that have been in deep economic trouble for a long, long time."
The wells also produce millions of gallons of briny wastewater, often laced with industrial chemicals that drillers mix in the fluids they use to fracture the rock.
Concerns over groundwater contamination have spurred a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation. New York and Pittsburgh officials have suspended proposals for shale-drilling projects.
The process the Dispatch describes is called fracking.
You see, many communities where Ohio’s state parks are located aren’t actually tied to a water system like you find in major populated areas, but instead rely on well-water systems.
So, Governor Kasich is poised to get Ohio to engage in an oil/gas extraction technique that has lead to massive contamination of groundwater in Pennsylvania (over the very Shale) in high agricultural areas where people rely on groundwater to supply their homes with water.
Again, what’s the worst that can happen?
Yeah, so glad we stopped worrying about the potential conflicts of interest Kasich’s Cabinet picks presented now, aren’t you?