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Watch: Panelists Discuss Fracking Pros and Cons

The Akron Area League of Women voters organized a fracking forum Thursday night in Fairlawn.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been happening in Ohio since the 1950s, according to experts, and it's been a hot topic of conversation for several years.

Oil and gas companies are moving closer to home, ;

The Akron Area League of Women Voters held a forum Thursday night in Fairlawn and invited representatives from four big-name corporations to discuss the pros and cons of fracking.

Watch the videos above to hear what each panelist had to say.

To make this easy, we're going to break down what each panelist had to say about fracking, for and against.

Pros

Gene Chini, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Gas Resource Management came to talk about the fracking process:

• , which is usually between three and four acres big.

• Every hole drilled into the ground is cased in concrete to prevent seeping.

• Once the holes are drilled, millions of gallons of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, are forced into the ground, creating a pressure that fractures the Utica shale below.

• After the shale is fractured, the gas and oil flows out through a pipeline and into a storage area, usually on site.

• There are 40 oil and gas rigs in Ohio right now, and that number is expected to double next year.

• If rigs are close to urban areas, sound barriers are constructed.

• "Everything is the same as it was when fracturing first started (back in the 1950s), it's just larger now," Chini said.

Mike Chadsey, of Energy In-Depth Ohio, talked about the fracking boom and the need for energy:

• In 2011, the oil and gas drilling industry creaked 6,100 jobs. Projecting out to 2015, the industry expects to have at least 200,000 people employed.

• There are about 3 million acres of land in Ohio that are being drilled right now. The average leasing rate is $2,500 per acre which means there is about $7.5 billion coming back to the industry in royalties, according to Chadsey.

• "I believe any community that consumes energy should produce energy," Chadsey said.

Cons

Cheryl Johncox, of the Buckeye Forest Council, discussed fracking and its impact on the environment:

• Fracking uses trillions of gallons of fresh water, which is permanently taken out of the ecosystem and will never be put back in.

• There aren't enough inspectors to be on every job site.

• In Ohio, wells can be as close to a home as 300 feet.

• Contaminated water is being stored on site and seeping back into the system.

• Fracking causes earthquakes.

• Johncox says 25 percent of drilled holes filled with cement casing are failures or are done improperly.

• The public does not have the ability to appeal a permit to drill. The public isn't even allowed to comment.

• All local rights to land were taken away and given to the state.

Ted Voneida, retired professor of neuro-anatomy at NEOMED talked about the overall negative effects of fracking:

• Fracking renders properties worthless.

• Most jobs held by the fracking industry are only temporary.

• A lot of the gas mined in the United States isn't staying in the United States: It's being shipped off to China, India and Africa.

• The loss of local rights is unconstitutional. "They're taking our rights to happiness and health," Voneida said.

• The truck traffic around drill sites is "worse than the Los Angeles freeway."

• People in North Dakota are renting their driveways out at $800 per month so workers can park RVs on site.

• The states regulations for drilling are flimsy and need to be tougher.

Neal Ratta April 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Are the cons listed in this article taken from comments of the panelists who are experts in the field or are they comments from people in the audience who may or may not have knowledge of the subject and are expressing their NIMBY attitudes and fears? Most of the cons read as though the latter is the case.
Megan Rozsa April 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Hi Neal, The cons are what a particular panelist said were cons. That's why they are under a person's name. Thanks for reading!
Keena Tomko April 20, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I think we should keep fracking, and, in fact allowing oil dollars to dictate all of our environmental choices until we succeed in achieving a feature-film caliber post-apocalyptic society. The most important thing isn't what life on this planet will be like 50 years from now, but whether our lives now are entirely convenient and familiar. The government and the corporations who own it know what's best for us.
Arbilmframb April 23, 2012 at 03:08 AM
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKomVOpZcbA]cymbalta coupon offers [/url]

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