Fracking: An Issue Brief for LWVO Members, October 2013 by Kristin Vessey, LWVO Board Member

At the LWVO convention of May 2013 in Cleveland, horizontal hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, occupied much of the discussion. Local Leagues on the eastern side of the state have already experienced a lot of fracking, since that portion of Ohio is underlain by Marcellus shale, but the rest of Ohio has mainly Utica shale that is less fracked; it is underneath & extends westward from the Marcellus. In addition, much of the state contains deep injection wells that are repositories for wastewater from various industries, often oil and gas, and are frequently used for fracking waste, a subject of considerable concern. Whether to launch a study and develop a LWVO position on the subject required a standing vote at the convention; the move was narrowly defeated, on the feeling that existing positions at the national and state levels already provide a basis for advocating on the issue and can be used immediately.

The interest and emotion manifest at this convention has prompted the LWVO board to offer a more thorough examination of fracking in Ohio, as our web site attests. Some of this material came from the 41 members of an interest group begun two years ago, channeled through board member Kristin Vessey and lobbyist Al Rosenfield. After an all-League conference call in April 2013, a 7-member committee charged with compiling information prepared a spread sheet of various fracking-related aspects. Thus many Leaguers have contributed to this project. It will, of course, need to be updated as more information emerges. The date is now 16 Oct. 2013.

Click here to read the full report.

Note: League members interested in joining the fracking email discussion list, please contact the state office at (614) 469-1505 to be added to the list.

Educational Resources

-LWVO Report on 'Why Fracking', by Al Rosenfield, 2 December 2013

Other Suggested Readings

Subscription required, so could be read through a library:

  • Natural Gas From Shale Bursts Onto the Scene By Richard Kerr, 25 June 2010, Science, vol. 328:1624-1626.
  • Impact of Shale Gas Development on Regional Water Quality By R. D. Vidic et al., 17 May 2013, Science, vol. 340: 826-835.
  • Learning How to NOT Make Your Own Earthquakes By Richard Kerr, 23 March 2012, Science, vol. 335:1436-1437.
  • U.S. Natural Gas Boom Impacting Local Towns and Distant Nations By Sarah Zielinski & Kathy Wren, 29 Nov. 2013, Science, vol. 342:1062-1063.
  • Bridge or Crutch? By Marcia McNutt, 22 Nov. 2013, Science, vol. 342: 909.


League Positions

LWVO Advocacy on Fracking:

-129th General Assembly (2011-12)

-130th General Assembly (2013-14)

Overview of LWVO Action on Hydraulic Fracking (2012)

Click here to read LWVO Lobbyist Testimony


Statehouse Day Lobbyist Reports