Ohio’s oil and gas resources have caught the attention of drillers, investors and political leaders alike. Thanks to a process known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), substantial reserves of oil and gas trapped deep under the surface can be extracted and brought to market, with a potential value of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Though a shale boom potentially could bring tens of thousands of jobs to Ohio, environmental concerns have raised doubts about whether fracking and its associated processes are safe. However, environmental issues are not the primary focus of our report. Because creating jobs will do little good if we poison our people and destroy our state, we believe it is self-evident that fracking should be halted if threats to public health and safety cannot be resolved. But if fracking does go forward, we believe that the economic benefits should be shared fairly with ALL Ohioans, not transferred out of state or allowed to flow down a one-way street in the direction of Big Oil.
In our report, “Fracking, Fairness and the Future,” we call on Governor Kasich and state lawmakers to ensure that Ohio workers, landowners and taxpayers receive a fair share and a fair shake if the state decides to allow expanded drilling for oil and gas.
Our recommendations include: charging industry a reasonable severance tax and sharing the revenue with local governments hit hard by budget cuts and poised to deal with the local impacts of increased drilling; establishing a landowner’s bill of rights; and creating a “Hire Ohio” policy to ensure new jobs go primarily to the Ohioans who need them.
Link to Report and Article : http://innovationohio.org/featured/report-fairness-fracking-and-the-future