Ohio

US Coal Hasn’t Set Aside Enough Money to Clean up its Mines

Read time: 9 mins
Coal strip mines in Wyoming's Powder River Basin

By , Climate Home News

As the US coal industry winds down, does it have enough money set aside to clean up the vast pits, walls and broken mountains left behind?

A Climate Home News investigation has found the answer is no. Particularly in Appalachia, the land, water and health of mining communities have been put at risk by a critically underfunded system supposed to clean up after mines close.

A Trump Adviser's Emails Shed Light on a Shadowy Anti-clean Energy Network

Read time: 5 mins
Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry

By Dave AndersonCrossposted from Energy and Policy Institute

Emails sent and received by Travis Fisher, an outgoing senior Trump administration official at the Department of Energy, shed light on a murky anti-clean energy network with ties to the fossil fuel industry that operates in the Midwest and nationally.

The emails were obtained by the Energy and Policy Institute via a series of public records requests to Ohio House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz and other state legislators involved in campaigns to roll back Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, as well as bail out failing coal and nuclear power plants.

Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests

Read time: 12 mins
A Lakota man locked himself to construction equipment building the Dakota Access pipeline

On the heels of Iowa and Ohio, Wyoming has become the third state to introduce a bill criminalizing the type of activities undertaken by past oil and gas pipeline protesters. 

One of the Wyoming bill's co-sponsors even says it was inspired by the protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access pipeline, and a sheriff involved in policing those protests testified in support of the bill at a recent hearing. Wyoming's bill is essentially a copy-paste version of template legislation produced by the conservative, corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Ohio Court Overturns Law Preventing Cities From Voting on Anti-Fracking Measures

Read time: 5 mins
Building home to the Ohio Supreme Court

In a slight break with previous state policies that have encouraged fracking activity and new pipelines, the Ohio Supreme Court recently struck down a controversial provision restricting citizen efforts to vote locally on these and other issues through the ballot initiative process.

Fossil Fuel Misinformation Helps Quash Community Effort to Ban Fracking in Youngstown, Ohio

Read time: 5 mins
Sign reading 'Don't frack Ohio - Stop injection wells'

For the first time since 2013, a group of activists in Youngstown, Ohio, has been told it cannot place an anti-fracking initiative on local ballots, due in part to a misinformation campaign from the fossil fuel industry.

On October 6, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that two proposed ballot initiatives — one to outlaw fracking and fracking waste injections and another to regulate political campaign contributions within city limits — would not be up for a vote this November. In previous years, voters weighed in on similar initiatives, which were ultimately defeated.

Ohio Communities Face 'Voter Suppression' in Push to Rein in Oil and Gas Development

Read time: 6 mins
scrabble tiles spelling out 'vote'

Three years in a row, communities in Ohio have attempted to vote on initiatives that would grant them greater say over oil and gas development in their jurisdictions, but over and over again, appointed officials, some with direct ties to the fossil fuel industry, have put up roadblocks preventing these initiatives from reaching the ballot.

We’re losing our ability to legislate and be a check and balance on the government,” Tish O’Dell of the Ohio Community Rights Network told DeSmog on September 15.

Rover Pipeline Sets Record for Environmental Violations

Read time: 2 mins
Richland County Wetland affected by a Rover pipeline spill

Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Energy Transfer Partners' controversial $4.3 billion Rover pipeline has more negative inspection reports than any other major interstate natural gas pipeline built in the last two years, according to a new Bloomberg analysis.

The 713-mile pipeline, which will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan and Canada, has been stalled from numerous environmental violations, including a 2 million gallon drilling fluid spill into an Ohio wetland in April.

Rover has accrued 104 violations since construction of the $4.2 billion project started in March.

Rover Pipeline Owner Disputing Millions Owed After Razing Historic Ohio Home

Read time: 6 mins
Rover pipeline about to be laid underground next to a home in Ohio

After taking heat last fall for destroying sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline finds itself embattled anew over the preservation of historic sites, this time in Ohio.

Documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) show that Energy Transfer Partners is in the midst of a dispute with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office over a $1.5 million annual payment owed to the state agency as part of a five-year agreement signed in February.

Energy Transfer Partners was set to pay the preservation office in exchange for bulldozing the Stoneman House, a historic home built in 1843 in Dennison, Ohio, whose razing occurred duing construction of the Rover pipeline. Rover is set to carry natural gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale — up to 14 percent of it — through the state of Ohio. The pipeline owner initially bulldozed the historic home, located near a compressor station, without notifying FERC, as the law requires.

Behind Trump’s Push for "American Steel" in Pipelines, Another Russian Company with Putin Ties Stands to Benefit

Read time: 8 mins

In his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, President Donald Trump commemorated the one-month anniversary of his executive orders calling for the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, as well as one calling for U.S. pipelines to get their line pipe steel from U.S. facilities.

“I said, who makes the pipes for the pipeline?” Trump told the CPAC crowd. “If they want a pipeline in the United States, they're going to use pipe that's made in the United States, do we agree?”

But while the pipe may be made in the U.S., as DeSmog has shown in previous investigations, ownership tells a different story. Enter: TMK IPSCO, a massive producer of steel for U.S. oil country tubular goods (OCTG) and line pipe, and a subsidiary of TMK Group. A DeSmog investigation has found ties between TMK Group's Board of Directors and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Follow the Money Behind Attacks on Clean Energy in Ohio

Read time: 6 mins
Welcome to Ohio sign.

By Dave Anderson

Fossil fuel and utility interests have used lobbyists and 2016 campaign contributions to influence state legislators in Ohio, and drive renewed attacks on clean energy policies in the Buckeye State.

State legislators will soon vote on companion bills — SB 320 and HB 554 — that would effectively continue the controversial freeze on Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards until 2020.

There has been no shortage of public support for unfreezing Ohio’s clean energy standards, but behind the scenes, fossil fuel and utility interests have been using money to influence the debate in Columbus. 

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