Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Truth about Gas and Oil Exploration Muddied by Misinformation and Innuendo

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Over the past several months a lot of misinformation and innuendo has been used to detract from the economic success of increased oil and gas exploration in eastern Ohio. This information has misled the public and it is time that the record is set straight. First of all, experts say it is unlikely that class II injection wells will be placed in Darke County as part of the hydraulic fracturing process.

Like other residents of Darke County, I have been reading the paper and attending public meetings to learn about the concerns surrounding the hydraulic fracturing process. At first, I was alarmed by the information being spread—but when I opened the books and Ohio’s regulatory code it became clear that hyperbole was being used to confuse the public. Those who have believed the misinformation and innuendo up to this point are being misled by national organizations from Washington D.C. with a left wing environmentalist agenda.

The growth of hydraulic fracturing in eastern Ohio has just started and already, Columbia Gas reported last November’s natural gas bills for Ohio consumers were at a 15-year low. In Darke County, we are benefiting from the industry but we are unlikely to see any oil and gas activity or class II injection wells in our part of the state.

Radioactive, trade secrets, unregulated—are all some of the terms used in an effort to spread misinformation and innuendo and confuse us about the hydraulic fracturing process in eastern Ohio. I did some research to learn the truth about each of these terms.

The radioactivity associated with the hydraulic fracturing process is naturally occurring and less harmful than an X-ray at a dentist. The state closely monitors all fracturing waste to ensure the material is handled properly and that workers and private citizens are not put in danger.

In Ohio, we have the some of the toughest laws on oil and gas exploration in the country. As part of those laws we have required disclosure of chemicals, which you can view at The very small portion that remains “trade secret,” is on record and must be disclosed very quickly to emergency personnel in the case of injury.

The state regulates all aspects of the oil and gas industry, and that is why federal law does not include tough regulations—it is the responsibility of each state to keep its people safe and hold the oil and gas industry to a high standard. I was happy when I learned that Ohio has such stringent regulations.

In Ohio, we are investing in the regulatory structure of this industry because the oil and gas industry is expanding and expected to stay in this state for years to come. The industry has committed $7 billion to construct facilities in Ohio needed for production purposes. In Darke County, we are not likely to see this investment because class II injection wells for the hydraulic fracturing process are not likely to come to our area.

The misinformation and innuendo being spread about the oil and gas industry is part of an organized plan by environmentalist in Washington D.C. with a political agenda. In Ohio we have some of the toughest regulations in the country preventing many of the accusations made by those opposed to hydraulic fracturing.

To learn the facts about the oil and gas industry in Ohio visit

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