As Brian pointed out in a post yesterday, Kasich’s office is responding to recent earthquakes near Youngstown, and the public outcry about safety concerns with fracking and the toxic waste it produces, not by addressing the public’s concerns but instead by hunkering down and trying (pretty unsuccessfully) to change the subject.
According to Kasich’s logic there’s no reason to slow down on the expansion of fracking since the fracking process and fracking wells are completely safe, it’s only the millions of gallons of toxic waste the process produces that’s a problem. So hey, full speed ahead!
Gas and Oil industry groups, not surprisingly, are pushing the exact same story. And they’ve formed a new group to help promote their message, hiring a Kasich ally to lead the effort.
The Ohio Petroleum Council, the Ohio Oil & Gas Association and other industry groups are coming together to form the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance (OERA) to defend fracking in Ohio. And they’ve hired Rebecca Heimlich, former head of the Ohio chapter of Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, as their director.
Kasich and Americans for Prosperity were joined at the hip during the SB5 Campaign with Kasich doing secret videos to motivate their troops and Rebecca providing “grassroots training” (funded by big corporate donors) to Tea Party Activists in which she regales them with tales of union evils, warns them of the dangers of allowing public employees to fairly negotiate with local communities and the state and promotes the “benefits” of SB5 and Kasich’s budget.
She also helped influence legislators and the Kasich administration to include some of the worst union-busting language in SB5.
Rebecca, wife of Cincinnati Republican politician-turned-lobbyist Phil Heimlich, has also been recruited by Kasich as a candidate for the Ohio GOP central committee as part of Kasich’s grand plan to unseat Kevin DeWine as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
Heimlich and her group sent out an email yesterday morning with statements from gas and oil industry spokespeople along with a “fact sheet” that mirrors Kasich’s main point: it’s not fracking that causes earthquakes, it just the millions and millions of gallons toxic waste they produce.
With SB5, John Kasich and his pals in the legislature allied themselves with big-money donors from Americans for Prosperity and other anti-union groups, ignoring the concerns, complaints and voices of Ohio’s citizens in an attempt to push through their anti-worker agenda.
It seems he hasn’t learned his lesson.
Kasich is now teaming up with the same players, again ignoring Ohio’s citizens, dismissing their questions about environmental safety and blowing off their concerns about the safety of their families with an annoyed wave of the hand.
Don’t try to tell John Kasich about fracking. He’s heard all he needs to know from spokespeople for the industry that stands to gain the most from its expansion in Ohio. And if the people who produce millions of gallons of poison-filled water say it’s safe to dump it in Ohio, then gosh darn it, John Kasich is going to believe them.