Shale Drilling in Ohio: A Case Study in Balancing Public and Private Interests

Technological advances in fracturing capabilities in the past decade have raised a number of opportunities with concerns for Ohio industry, government agencies, communities and citizens. In Ohio, more than 71,000 wells have used some form of “fracking,” and over 80 percent of all new wells use the technique. The supportive business and operating climate sought by the oil and gas companies, and the pipeline and storage industries must be balanced with citizens’ concerns about the land, water, air, toxic substances, safety and public health. Ohio has been playing catch-up to the recent influx of natural gas development, and the state’s older oil and gas statutes left multiple issues unaddressed or outdated. Concerns about hydraulic fracturing, forced pooling, water management, waste disposal, well design and construction, chemicals used, trade secrets and air quality have ignited much public discussion in Ohio.

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