In Ohio, Cleveland Branch Organizing for Action

Picture from Frackfree Coalition action at
Mosquito Lake State Park, Cortland, OH, Trumbull Co., April 7, 2012

Ohio is literally “shaking” over natural gas fracking with wastewater, trucked in from other states, disposed of by injection into deep wells. Much of the wastewater comes from nearby states that ban this type of disposal that was considered responsible for a dozen or so earthquakes that hit Northeast OH in March. As a result, some new state regulation of this type of disposal was put in place, but actually it should be prohibited.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is estimating 2250 newly drilled wells for natural gas extraction by 2015.  Others are projecting much higher numbers which will “fuel” an economic boom and jobs. Sensible people are trying to hold back this destruction to the environment, communities and people’s health. The Cleveland Branch is proposing the “Precautionary Principle” as a policy tool to our state.

Thanks to a WILPF Spring mini-grant, the Earth Democracy Issue Committee, Carolyn Raffensperger, Executive Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, will be in the state for 3 days from June 22-24 in June to talk about the Precautionary Principle.

Carolyn Raffensperger’s tour begins in Yellow Springs at the Glen/Helen Ecology Institute on Friday, June 22.  On Saturday, June 23, she will speak at the Youngstown Unitarian Universalist Church. Youngstown has been at the epicenter of earthquakes caused by the injection wells. On Sunday, June 24, she will speak at a forum prior to the church service at Westshore Unitarian Universalist Church, and in the afternoon, she will speak at the Eastshore Unitarian Universalist Church.  

When Ms. Raffensperger’s visit was first announced, many groups voiced support for her. As of this writing, 7 groups are co-sponsors, including People’s Oil and Gas, Center for Health & Environmental Justice, Sierra Club, FACT Ohio, NEOGap, Cuyahoga County Concerned Citizens, and Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods. Outreach has been done to the Farmer’s Union and the Organic Farmers Organization.  This tour comes one week after a big anti-fracking rally in the state capital, and so is catching the wave of activity and building the movement for renewable energy policy. For more information, go to Stop Fracking Ohio.

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