The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision that local communities can’t use zoning ordinances to keep out oil and gas drillers has many speculating on what it might mean for the future.

The oil and gas industry says the decision shows local bans are largely pointless, because they conflict with the state’s permitting process. But Dick McGinn, who helped pass a ban in Athens, says bans are based on residents’ civil rights. 

“If we have to go to court on this, the industry and the state will have to argue that we have no rights,” he said.

Ohio's high court recent ruling limits local power over gas drilling.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that cities can’t enforce local laws banning fracking if the state has issued a permit to a driller. 

Kasich Receives Mixed Reaction For Severance Tax Proposal

Feb 4, 2015
Ohio Statehouse News Bureau

House leaders are looking over Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal which includes a big swing of the bat when it comes to a tax increase on oil and gas drilling. But the industry is ready to fight the plan.

Kasich is trying again to raise the so-called severance tax, this time proposing to move it to 6.5 percent, which he says would raise $325 million. 

Shawn Bennett with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association says the industry is already hurting because of a drop in prices. He claims a higher tax rate will further discourage investment. 

Fracking – Bridge To The Future Or To Nowhere?

Dec 18, 2014
Susy Morris / Flickr Creative Commons

People are happy at the pump these days in Ohio.  Right now gasoline costs well below $3.00 per gallon. Heating with natural gas has gotten cheaper over the past few years.    Both of these trends have to do with fracking.  University of Dayton Professor Bob Brecha has some thoughts about the long-term costs and benefits of going after increasingly difficult fossil fuel deposits.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

An advocacy group says hundreds of millions of gallons of fracking waste is being dumped into oil and gas disposal wells without strong oversight. But the state stands by the strength of its program.

Ohio Citizen Action—a grassroots anti-pollution group—says the state’s inspections of injection wells are inconsistent. These are wells used to dispose of oil and gas drilling waste.

Nathan Rutz with Ohio Citizen Action adds that the U.S. EPA should do a better job at keeping the state inspectors in line.

West Virginia To Allow Fracking Underneath The Ohio River

Dec 9, 2014
erjkprunkczyk / Flickr/Creative Commons

West Virginia is selling hydraulic fracturing or fracking rights under the Ohio River, and the effects of that decision will be monitored by the other states in the Ohio River Valley.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new study suggests that fracking triggered hundreds of too-small-to-be-felt earthquakes in eastern Ohio late last year, months before the state first linked seismic activity to the oil-and-gas extraction technique.

The study, in the journal Seismological Research Letters, identified nearly 400 tremors on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2013. That included 10 quakes of magnitudes of 1.7 to 2.2 — significantly more intense than expected, though still minor.

Report: Utica Shale Production Grows In Ohio

Aug 12, 2014

A new federal report says that natural gas production in Ohio's Utica Shale region is growing rapidly.
The report issued Monday found that production from the Utica region in eastern Ohio increased by more than 10 times over the last two years, from 115 million cubic feet per day in 2012 to an estimated 1.3 billion cubic feet per day by September 2014.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the Utica is one of the fastest growing natural gas production areas in the United States. Utica oil production has also increased to about 40,000 barrels per day.

Brian Bull / WCPN

Shale drilling across much of the United States has increased demand for steel pipe, which has benefited U.S. steel producers, but that picture is starting to change as foreign steel makers increasingly enjoy the payoff.

An analysis by the Economic Policy Institute shows U.S. steel imports spiked 26 percent in the first three months of 2014. South Korea, China and India are flooding the U.S. market with steel tubes used in oil and gas production and selling them at below-market rates, a practice called “dumping.”

Kasich, Republicans Differ On Oil & Gas Tax

Mar 28, 2014

Governor Kasich’s proposal in his mid-biennium budget to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers in Ohio is being met with resistance from Republicans in the Ohio legislature. In this week’s PoliticsOhio, the Statehouse News Bureau’s Andy Chow tells Emily McCord that two different proposals are being debated.

Chow reports that the current tax rate on oil and gas drillers is very low compared to other states. Governor Kasich’s proposal would raise the tax to 2.75 percent. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has a different proposal that would raise the tax to 2.25 percent.