Ohio Democratic Lawmaker Proposes a Ban on Fracking in State Parks and Nature Preserves

Mar 19, 2018

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus)
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A central Ohio lawmaker is seeking a ban on fracking in certain parts of the state. The proposal comes as a commission that regulates this types of drilling prepares for its first meeting.

Democratic Rep. David Leland wants to prevent oil and gas companies from drilling in public parks and nature preserves.

Leland says he understands the economic value of fracking for natural gas in Ohio, but “we’ve got to have little spots of land in the state of Ohio that don’t have to be subjected to fracking. We can run an economy, we can get our energy needs in the state of Ohio and still preserve the state parks and nature preserves for people to use not only now but in the future," Leland says. 

The practice of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands must be approved by the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission. For years Gov. John Kasich didn’t appoint members to the commission, but last year’s budget fight with fellow Republicans -- many of whom favor fracking -- forced his hand.