Statewide News
9:36 am
Thu October 13, 2011

Permits picking up for Ohio natural gas 'fracking'

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Permits are being issued more quickly in Ohio for the natural gas drilling associated with the practice called fracking.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Thursday that 27 permits for horizontal drilling into the Utica Shale formation beneath Ohio were granted from July to September alone.  Ohio Department of Natural Resources figures show that's more than half the total number of permits issued since 2009. 

In fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, chemicals are injected into the shale through horizontal wells to release natural gas from the rock.

Critics of the practice say it raises environmental concerns.  Democrats in the Ohio House and Senate are proposing a temporary ban on fracking until it can be studied further. Ohio Republicans controlling both legislative chambers have approved bills expanding drilling opportunities.

 Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com