Ohio Governor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Oil and Gas Drilling in Lake Erie
On July 11, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed an Executive Order prohibiting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources from “issuing any permit, license or lease allowing” oil and gas drilling in or under Lake Erie.
This is a critical step not only for the safeguarding of Lake Erie, but also for the entire State of Ohio as oil and gas companies continue to posture for access to the state's rich shale gas reserves. Ohioans are hoping the order will set a strong precedent as more of the state's vital habitats and water supplies are threatened by the possibility of fracking.
“Today, Governor Kasich stepped forward to protect Lake Erie from the perils of gas drilling,” said Julian Boggs, advocate for Environment Ohio. “Now we need a moratorium on fracking to protect the rest of Ohio.”
In 2002, Environment Ohio research uncovered a series of spills and leaks—nearly one per month over a four year period—from gas drilling operations on the Canadian side of Lake Erie.
Additionally, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has been under the gun as recent research found high levels of alpha particles, arsenic, barium, toluene and other contaminants in fracking wastewater.
“We want to thank the governor for his leadership on this issue. With the stroke of a pen, Governor Kasich got the job done when the state legislature dropped the ball earlier this year” said Jack Shaner, Ohio Environmental Council deputy director.
“Some areas of the state should be left untouched from this highly industrial process” added Shaner. “Ohioans want to enjoy the lake in all of its beauty when visiting the shore. Ohio’s North Coast, and our Great Lake, is no place to risk an Exxon Valdeez tanker spill or Gulf Coast blowout type disaster.”
In fact, the protection of Lake Erie has arrived right on time as Ohio's other natural treasure—the Wayne National Forest—finds itself in the crosshairs of the fracking industry.
Located in southeastern Ohio, Wayne National Forest administrators began the process last fall of leasing more than 3,300 acres for oil and gas extraction without an Environmental Impact Study, prompting thousands of concerned citizens to sign petitions and send letters to officials to save the forest. Most of the acreage in question is situated along an aquifer that more than 70,000 people depend on for drinking water.
“Governor Kasich is exactly right in barring the oil and gas industry from Lake Erie,” continued Boggs. “So how could state officials let fracking into our parks and forests? We need to turn that around.”
“If state officials continue to place the interests of the oil and gas industry over Ohio’s water and land, we’ll have no choice but to look to federal agencies for protection,” said Boggs. Environment Ohio has recently urged the national forest service to bar fracking in Wayne National Forest. “That’s the least they can do as Ohio goes under the drill.”
By Brett Wilkins
One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales ... ›
- Endangered Blue Whales Make 'Unprecedented' Comeback to ... ›
- Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Spotted Off Coast ... ›
- Only 366 Endangered Right Whales Are Alive: New NOAA Report ... ›
By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.
Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.
- Guardian/Vice Poll Finds Most 2020 Voters Favor Climate Action ... ›
- Climate Change Seen as Top Threat in Global Survey - EcoWatch ›
- The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation ... ›
By Tara Lohan
Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on common milkweed on Poplar Island in Maryland. Photo: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program, (CC BY-NC 2.0)