Fracking: Someone’s Got to Look Out for the Common Good
All across the country, states are trying to figure out what to do about fracking. Some see the discovery of oil and gas deposits as presenting unprecedented opportunity, while many are extremely concerned about earthquakes and other ill effects of the practice by drillers.
There will be all sorts of effects in communities as a result of the changes that fracking will bring. For example, this week, a study released by the CDC Association found that there is not enough affordable rental housing in Appalachian counties of Ohio. Without changes to environmental regulation, the boom will likely grow. This will lead to more and more low-income and working class residents in Appalachia and beyond (the Utica shale extends to Columbus) who cannot afford housing as more wells are drilled and pumps are active.
From the impact on the environment to the impact on roads, schools, and housing – fracking is a major issue that it’s clear we’re not entirely prepared to deal with in Ohio. And if it the practice is going to happen, we should certainly be raising taxes on the drillers to ensure that all Ohioans benefit from the natural resource deep beneath the surface. At a minimum, we need to make sure that someone is looking out for the common good in Ohio – in the short term and for future generations.