Shaky Economy

SEISMIC ACTIVITY has shaken Ohio in recent months, and it’s shaking up environmental extremists who already have placed a target on the booming oil and gas industry.

New Year’s Eve was rocking in Youngstown, when a 4.0 magnitude earthquake shook the city. That quake came on the heels of a 2.7 a week before.

These recent earthquakes seemed to be unusual for Ohio, and speculation about the cause has focused on the recent tidal wave of oil and gas drilling into the deep Marcellus and Utica shale in Ohio using the method of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to collect these natural resources.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources suspended operations at five well sites around Youngstown following the quake. Some experts contend that the high-pressure well activity in the area may have likely caused the most recent earthquake.

This opened the flood gates for environmentalists to urge Ohio Gov. John Kasich to put a stop to fracking until more studies about its effects are known.

The state had already been looking into Ohio’s increased seismic activity. There were at least 10 small earthquakes recorded in the state since March 2011.

The most noticeable earthquake to shake Ohio last year actually had an epicenter in Virginia, and the rare event rattled the entire northeastern region of the United States and parts of Canada as well. There was no talk about a link to hydraulic fracturing or high-pressure well injections as being a possible cause for the Virginia quake.

Officials in Columbus know better than to speak out against the oil and gas industry. Ever since the U.S. economy took a nose dive, politicians on both sides of the aisle have preached about the country’s dependence on foreign oil, the need to create jobs in our communities and the need to stimulate the economy. We are confident that the oil and gas industry will cure these problems.

Should we put the almighty dollar ahead of our environment? Of course not. But to throw road blocks in the way of our economic recovery in Ohio just for the sake of stopping the oil and gas industry shows an extremist approach that we certainly do not want to take.