From the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and Communityies United for Responsible Energy:
Groups hold meeting in Carrollton informing residents of their rights during the shale-drilling boom
On Thursday, July 10, The Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) and the Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE) are hosting a town hall meeting where residents can get their questions answered regarding their legal rights during the shale drilling. The meeting will be held at the Church of Christian Disciples at 353 Moody Ave in Carrollton, Ohio. It is free and all are welcome to attend.
The boom in shale drilling has affected large landowners and people living in town alike. While many landowners have profited from leasing their land and royalty payments, others have found themselves left out in the cold by being tied to old leases of their mineral rights, which were then sold. Other landowners have reported disputes with drilling companies or pipeline companies over how much land is taken for a well pad or a pipeline. Others fear that their well water might have been compromised.
Attorneys Emily Collins and Dave Armstrong of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services will be on hand to address these and similar issues.
“We are interested in providing information services to communities throughout Ohio to ensure that the public can adequately participate in Ohio’s ongoing efforts to effectively and equitably regulate the burgeoning oil and gas industry,” Armstrong said “We hope to correct lingering ambiguities and address misinformation about what fracking is, how it impacts communities, and the long-term costs and benefits of waste management and storage.”
Meanwhile, residents who live in town face a host of different issues – especially when it comes to housing. Many residents of Harrison, Carroll and Columbiana Counties have reported drastic increases in rent due to a lack of housing and an influx of out of state workers. Many have been forced to leave their homes because their landlord raised the rent in hopes of renting to the oil and gas workers who are able to afford it. Spencer Wells, Community Manager of the Rental Housing Information Network in Ohio (RHINO) will answer questions about the housing crisis.
"Because rent is not regulated in Ohio, landlords are taking advantage of the influx of gas and oil workers to double or triple their normal rental rates,” Wells sad. “The long term answer is to demand that local officials work to create more affordable (rent controlled) housing. Short term there are may be some ways to encourage local landlords to consider stable local renters over gas and oil workers who can pay more in the short term."
The meeting is part of the Ohio Shale Country Listening Project, a collaboration of the CURE, FracTracker, Laborers International Union Local 809 and the Ohio Environmental Council. The listening project aims to survey 1000 people living in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale. The survey responses will be compiled into a comprehensive report – detailing the major themes uncovered during this process. The report will include citizen-driven policy recommendations based on the project’s findings. The group expects to release the report in early October 2014.
The Communities United for a Responsible Environment (CURE campaign aims to develop a framework and broad-based organizing strategy toharness the dozens of small citizen groups and activists, and develop their leadership capacity to address fracking’s immediate and long-term effects, as well as connecting that base to the progressive environmental movement. CURE is also dedicated to expanding OOC’s grassroots base to include farmers, rural communities, and first responders, and address fracking concerns in the faith community, with labor unions, and now, as fracking is increasing in densely populated areas, with urban communities of color.
For more information, visit www.ohorganizing.org
Formed in 2007, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) is an innovative statewide organization that unites community organizing groups, labor unions, faith organizations, and policy institutes across Ohio. OOC currently consists of 15 member organizations with members in every major metropolitan area across the state, and also houses one of the nation’s largest movement building projects.
OOC’s vision is to organize everyday Ohioans to build a transformative base of power for the purpose of achieving social, racial and economic justice in Ohio. We carry out this mission by investing in a diverse portfolio of organizing methods, experimental strategies, non-partisan electoral programs, leadership training, and integration with policy organizations.
For more information, visit www.ohorganizing.org.
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.