The unconventional gas industry's latest rush in the United States will land it in the state of Ohio, but a recent poll shows that the state's residents are not rolling out the red carpet for an industry famous for threatening drinking water supplies, causing earthquakes, noise and air pollution and trying to proliferate global addiction to fossil fuels.
Results from a Quinnipiac University poll released today shows that 59 percent of those polled have heard of or read about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the complex and risky process that enables unconventional gas drilling. A whopping 72 percent of Ohioans familiar with fracking support a moratorium on the process until it is studied further.
The other 41-percent of citizens are likely to follow suit once they discover what is headed their way, and how little this industry will help them from a financial point of view in the long run.
Ohio recently found itself with the fracking shakes, as magnitude 4.0-level earthquakes struck near Youngstown on New Year's Eve. Scientists suspect the earthquakes resulted from a wastewater injection well disposing of fracking brine from Pennsylvania. The Christian Science Monitor explained in a story that the “quake triggered shaking reportedly felt as as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto.”
These fracking-related earthquakes are not an aberation, but rather a repeated occurence linked to fracking in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, as well as abroad in the U.K., in the city Blackpool. Al Jazeera English recently ran a story on the Ohio fracking-induced earthquakes. Watch:
Multinational Gas Corporations Head to Ohio
On the financial side of things, the gas industry's rush to drill the Utica Shale is led by the nation's largest unconventional gas corporation, Chesapeake Energy. Chesapeake has a huge joint ownership stake in the Utica Shale with Total SA, the French oil and gas conglomerate. As DeSmogBlog wrote a bit over a month ago, “Total S.A. is positioning itself to acquire 25 percent of Chesapeake Energy’s stake in Ohio's Utica Shale, valued at $2.14 Billion.”
Also in on the hunt for gas in the Utica are industry giants Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Anadarko Petroleum, and Range Resources, a corporation now infamous for its use of psychological warfare tactics to “win the hearts and minds” of U.S. citizens in the neighboring Marcellus Shale basin.
So much for “energy independence,” “boosting the local economy,” and small, independent “mom and pop” gas industry start-ups.
Thankfully, Ohioans aren't drinking the kool-aid and have chosen, like the citizens of Bulgaria recently did, to fight back against the industry's destructive deceit. They are wise to demand a moratorium on fracking, which DeSmogBlog called for in Fracking The Future.
Time will tell if they succeed.