Ohio Finally Gets Much-Debated Rules On Fracking, Green Energy

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One of the many natural gas pumps that have sprung up around Ohio in recent years.(Photo: Flickr)
One of the many natural gas pumps that have sprung up around Ohio in recent years.(Photo: Flickr)

Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill that includes new rules for oil and gas drilling, and what counts as “green energy.”

Much of the attention has been focused on the parts of the bill that include new regulations on the oil and gas industry and the process called fracking. But Gov. Kasich signed the bill at Echogen, a company that helps other companies take waste heat from industrial processes and reuse it.

The bill defines that now as renewable energy, a move some environmentalists objected to, saying it would be ease pressure for companies to convert to more clean energy like wind and solar.

But Kasich says some environmentalists are going too far.

“We have the tougher regulation in high press ure pipelines and gathering lines than the federal government,” the Governor said at a signing ceremony. “We have the most extensive fracking liquid disclosure in the country. And then, on top of it, we’ve got waste heat.

“Now we’ve got resistance to co-generation which would also help to meet those standards. And you know I made the statement that sometimes those environmental groups are more interested in their subsidies than they are in the environment. Not always, but sometimes.”

Kasich accused environmentalists of “continuing to move the goalposts” to get more stringent regulations.

But environmentalists say the bill was weakened by loopholes pushed by the oil and gas industry, including exemptions of certain chemical compounds from public disclosure and limiting who can sue if fracking goes wrong.

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