Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation's strictest.
CLEVELAND - As environmental investigators look to see whether a deep waste water injection well is the cause of nearly dozen earthquakes in Youngstown since March, a few miles away sits a long dormant steel mill that will soon see new life.
The mill will reportedly undergo a $650 million overhaul and begin producing the seamless pipes that will be used in the horizontal fracking process. And therein lies the contrast in this hotly debated subject: economic vs. environmental impact.
The oil and gas industry has estimated that fracking could mean more than 200,000 jobs for Ohio, but environmentalists argue at what price?
Recently, we spoke with Gov. John Kasich about where things stand in the state.
Ohio sits above the Marcellus and Utica shale and companies have already invested several billion of dollars in the state, said Kasich, as they study whether the fuel trapped deep in the rock below us is worth retrieving.
"A lot of good news companies are investing. I've been to Texas, I've met with 50-60 companies down there. We have more good news coming, companies that want to come pipe, pumps, compressors, drillers all that but let's not pop the champagne corks just yet," he cautioned.
That's because he said there's a lot to be worked out on both sides. For the companies, there are two issues.
"Is the market such that you can get it up and make money? Because if you can't you're not going to drill. Secondly do we have the technology, particularly to bring up these liquids, which are so valuable," said Kasich.
While those matters are being determined, he said the state has its own things to consider.
"One of the big issues that we have is we want Ohioans working in this industry, so we have to train people to do this. The companies are not telling us exactly what we need to do to train our workers," Kasich said. "So I'm pounding on them tell us so Ohioans can work.
"Secondly, you have to have very strong environmental rules because you can't afford a misstep.
"Thirdly, you're going to have to have impact fees to help the local governments deal with their infrastructure problems and a severance tax because our severance tax is a little outdated."
He said the state must find a balance though when it comes to taxes and fees.
"If you tax too much they leave, if you tax too little you're not going to get your job done."
Luckily, they have other states to study that have already gone down this road.
"We've learned from Pennsylvania, we've learned from New York's mistakes, we have studied North Dakota we just were involved in looking at Wyoming and the problems they had out there."
"We have been managing this for 15 months and could this be an incredible good news story for all of Ohio? The answer is yes but we've had people's hopes dashed enough and let's just take it a day at a time but we feel pretty good."
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A list of toxic chemicals used by Ohio shale drillers must be made available locally to governments, first responders and residents under a new state directive.
Amish communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania are debating a temptation -- the large cash royalties that can come with the boom in oil and gas drilling from the technology known as fracking.
A northeast Ohio businessman and one of his employees have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they violated the Clean Water Act by repeatedly dumping gas-drilling wastewater into a storm sewer.
Prosecutors are charging a northeast Ohio man with violating the federal Clean Water Act after at least 20,000 gallons of gas-drilling waste was dumped into a river tributary.
Contaminated wastes from a boom in oil and natural gas drilling would face new testing, reporting and tracking requirements before going to Ohio landfills under proposal developed by three state agencies over the past several months.
The new movie "Promised Land" digs into the fierce national debate over fracking, the technique that's generated a boom in U.S. natural gas production while also stoking controversy.
Anti-drilling demonstrators say a new movie is inspiring a protest in Youngstown, where deep injection of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing was linked to a series of earthquakes.
A Maryland man faces two misdemeanor charges after chaining himself to a gate at a northeast Ohio deep-injection well in order to block trucks carrying wastewater from oil and gas drilling.