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Ohio Utica Shale

Policy Matters looks at shale drilling impacts in four counties

By Bob Downing Published: April 11, 2014

From Policy Matters Ohio on Thursday:

Fracking brings good and bad to Ohio county

by Policy Matters Ohio on April 10th, 2014


April 10th, 2014
For immediate release
Contact Amanda Woodrum, 216.361.9801
Download press release (1 pg)
Full report

Study examines impact of drilling on economy, housing, traffic, key services

Shale development is changing the economy, environment and culture of Carroll County, Ohio, and other communities around the state, according to a study released today by Policy Matters.

“It’s a complicated story,” said Amanda Woodrum, report author and Policy Matters researcher. “Whether fracking ultimately helps or hurts the local economy will depend on whether the money stays local, where the gas is refined, who gets the jobs and business, and what the costs are to the community, the environment and public health.”

The study found that:

  • Fewer jobs than promised are being created, with many going to out-of-state workers;
  • Some companies doing drilling-related work in Carroll County are buying local and landowners are spending signing bonuses in the community, leading to a 31 percent increase in sales tax receipts in the county (an indicator of increased economic activity);
  • Increased truck traffic on roads not built to handle heavy loads and big trucks is causing wear and tear and a higher rate of accidents;
  • Rents are rising, becoming unaffordable for some residents;
  • Increased economic activity is boosting local government revenues.

“Overall, the economic benefits of fracking fall far short of what was promised and come with costs to safety, the environment and the community,” said Woodrum.

The report recommends a stronger severance tax, in keeping with that of other drilling states. “Ohio should increase its severance tax to 5 percent and use the revenue for industry oversight and regulation, and for covering community costs,” said Woodrum.

Other recommendations outlined in the report include putting in place additional taxation with revenues set aside in Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund; forming local taskforces to identify issues, consider solutions, and open dialogue; better state monitoring of water quality and other environmental health issues; new pollution control requirements; and policies to require local hiring for fracking-related jobs and provision of health insurance. “Ohio should also diversify our energy portfolio to be less reliant on fossil fuels in the future,” said Woodrum.

The Carroll County study is part of a larger effort by the Multi-State Shale Collaborative, of which Policy Matters is a member. Other Collaborative members examined the impact of shale drilling in Greene and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania and Wetzel County in West Virginia.


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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

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.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

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.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.