A Central Ohio lawmaker is seeking a ban on fracking in certain parts of the state. The proposal follows the first meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission, which regulates this type of drilling.
Democratic Representative David Leland of Columbus wants to prevent oil and gas companies from drilling in public parks and nature preserves.
Leland says he understands the economic value of fracking for natural gas in Ohio, but said some spaces should be off limits from drilling.
“We’ve got to have little spots of land in the state of Ohio that don’t have to be subjected to fracking,” Leland said. “We can run an economy, we can get our energy needs in the state of Ohio and still preserve the state parks and nature preserves for people to use not only now but in the future.”
The practice of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands must be approved by the Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission.
For years Gov. John Kasich didn’t appoint members to the commission, but last year’s budget included an amendment to let state lawmakers name commission members. Kasich vetoed that measure from the budget, but it was reinstalled after lawmakers voted to override the veto.
By ANDY CHOW