Energy companies are taking advantage of Amish religious beliefs in the Utica and Marcellus shale regions of Ohio, reports Molly Redden at the New Republic.
Redden: "The Amish interpretation of the Christian bible prohibits the use of the courts: Except in rare circumstances, the Amish do not sue. This has created a unique problem in the region.
"Home to the largest Amish community in the world, Eastern Ohio sits squarely on top of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, which contain billions in oil and gas recoverable through advances in hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking. From the portions of the Utica Shale play that underlie Ohio alone, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has estimated that companies may be able to extract up to 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has estimated the value of the Utica’s resources at $500 billion.
"Accordingly, extraction companies are buying up the rights to drill on private property with unprecedented speed.
"At stake are geysers of money. And in the thousands of cases in which the landowner is of the Amish faith, their business partner would never dream of taking them to court should things go awry.
"This, obviously, has enticed some companies to take advantage of Amish farmers—who are finally figuring out how to fight back."
Read the whole thing here.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.