Ohio is celebrating its 212th birthday with special events at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Forestry Service To Allow Fracking In Wayne National Forest
Listen to the Story
The U.S. Forestry Service is opening up the Wayne National Forest in Ohio to fracking, just as Ohio Republicans are blasting President Obama on his energy policy.
The U.S. Forestry Service announced Monday that it will allow fracking in the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio.
The announcement hit about the same time that Republicans in Tampa were blasting President Obama for not allow more of the shale drilling on public lands. They also were going over polls and strategies that suggest Mitt Romney could swing Ohio by backing more drilling. Polling Group Inc. says Ohioans are three times more likely to vote for a politician who backs more drilling.
Even before that session, Ohioâ€™s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and other Republicans were accusing the administration of slowing the process.
In its announcement, the Forest Service says the Wayne forestâ€™s management plan could adequately address any damage and risks from the drilling and there is no need for a new environmental study. Environmental groups say the plan never contemplated the fracking, and Athens County, Ohio University and the city of Athens oppose it.
Republicans, including Senate candidate Josh Mandel, have dismissed the critics as extremists.