Randolph Township public meeting aimed at fracking

Courtney Kerrigan

Randolph Township trustees will host a discussion Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing in Ohio, more commonly known as fracking.

The will bring in representatives from both sides for a public meeting in the Randolph Community Center.

The idea came after Preserve Rural Randolph, a citizen’s group, attended a trustee meeting asking that the trustees make a resolution to stop drilling in Randolph, said Trustee Roger Klodt. However, they don’t have authority to take any action on the issue.

“What we did [instead] was get someone with some authority and knowledge to put on a public meeting so we could get the facts,” he said.

Those invited include state Representative Anthony Devitis, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Portage County commissioners and representatives from the Portage County regional planning and engineer’s office.

Preserve Rural Randolph was also invited, along with other groups for and against fracking.

Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, will be presenting how natural gas and oil is explored, drilled and produced in Ohio.

She will also discuss the economic and job benefits and the history of oil and gas, explaining that drilling in Ohio has been happening for more than 150 years.

“We’ve got this wonderful geological gift in the state of Ohio,” she said. “We’ve had and continue to have tremendous opportunities to provide domestic energy right here in Ohio.”

An associate of the Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project will also present at the meeting. Dan Lincoln said he will try and relay the risks of the industry, such as air pollution and water contamination.

“We feel that the industry represents the good side of the story and doesn’t fill in the landowners,” he said.

Contact Courtney Kerrigan at [email protected].