BRUNSWICK: Michael Baach is fracking mad.
The president and chief executive officer of the Philpott Rubber Co. is strongly opposed to an anti-fracking resolution pending in Brunswick City Council.
He is prepared to move his growing company subsidiary, Philpott Energy & Transportation Co., which serves natural gas drillers, out of Brunswick, if council approves the resolution.
“It is not a threat,” he said of a pending move. “It’s just a fact of business. If this happens, what we’re going to do we won’t do here.”
Council’s resolution could come up for a final vote Monday.
The city said it is not trying to anger Baach. It is trying to make its own point.
Officials said the city wants to express its displeasure to the Ohio Legislature that communities, like Brunswick, have no say in local drilling.
In 2004, Ohio law was changed to take away home rule. It give the Ohio Department of Natural Resources total control over drilling.
That reason doesn’t mollify Baach.
He called the resolution “anti-business” and said it sends the wrong message.
“This unnecessary legislation will make Brunswick a poster child for those that are anti-business in general and specifically anti-energy exploration and production,” he said. “It sends a bad signal to business.”
Baach held a news conference Monday to state his opposition to the resolution. Earlier, he had addressed council.
Three or four options for a new location are being explored, he said.
He said Brunswick is unlikely to see any drilling, so it makes no sense to pass such an anti-fracking resolution.
To date, Devon Energy, an Oklahoma company, has drilled one horizontal well near Lodi in Harrisville Township. It is the only well of its kind in Medina County. Results were disappointing, so the company later plugged the well.
Baach said he expects Philpott Energy & Transportation very soon to hire additional drivers and workers and to secure additional warehouse space.
The business is projected to continue growing in the coming years, he said, and Brunswick would lose a significant amount of income tax if workers are relocated.
The city should be doing more to attract drilling-related companies rather than chasing them away, Baach said.
When drillers become aware of Brunswick’s stance on fracking, he said, it could hurt his business for them to see “Brunswick, Ohio” on the side of his trucks when they visit well sites.
“I can’t imagine our shale gas customers wanting to deal with a company that boasts of supporting an anti-energy city,” Baach said.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.