CLEVELAND — What happened to the Ohio shale boom? Oil and gas companies have given different answers every few months.
1. It’s a Marcellus shale boom. No, wait, it’s a Utica shale boom.
At first, the Ohio shale boom was all about the Marcellus shale, not the Utica. For example, in October 2010, Chris Perry and Larry Wickstrom of the Ohio Geological Survey gave a presentation on Ohio’s shale prospects, called, “The Marcellus Shale Play: Geology, History, and Oil & Gas Potential in Ohio.” The State geologists saw a big future in the Ohio Marcellus formation:
“. . . due to large production increases, a play such as the Marcellus is reshaping our natural gas distribution networks and the way we ultimately may use natural gas.”
Perry and Wickstrom barely noticed the Utica shale.
Before long, everything was reversed and no one mentioned Marcellus shale. Why?
Because nothing was happening in the Marcellus. There are currently only six producing wells in Ohio Marcellus shale, only one of which is a Chesapeake Energy well.
As a sign of how thoroughly the Marcellus vanished, in its report on 2011 natural gas production the Ohio Department of Natural Resources included figures for Utica wells, but didn’t even bother to report on the Marcellus wells.
“No more than a year ago, expectations of shale development in Ohio focused largely on the Marcellus. However, it became clear in 2011 that Marcellus-related drilling is unlikely to happen very far west of the state’s borders with Pennsylvania and West Virginia.”
— “An Analysis of the Economic Potential for Shale Formations in Ohio,” February 29, 2012, study funded by the Shale Coalition, and conducted by Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, and Marietta College.
Meanwhile, the Utica Shale bandwagon started rolling. On July 29, 2011, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon said, “The Utica should emerge as a key driver in the future growth of U.S. energy supplies.” Continue reading Shale boom? What happened?
BELLBROOK — After working at Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Matt attended Vermont Law School to pursue an interest in environmental and public interest law. During law school, he led the student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and has participated in anti-globalization and GE free food campaigns. After law school, and two clerkships in Alaska, he moved to Ohio and now leads the housing and economic development practice group at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Dayton. Matt also practices in the area of environmental justice, utilizing law to reach social justice goals.
“I tend to find my environmental ethics lining up with that of Social Ecology, which sees the causes of nearly all of our present ecological problems as originating in deep-seated social problems”, he says.
Matt was drawn to Ohio Citizen Action by its good neighbor campaign work, specifically the attributes of decentralism, community control, and direct, face-to-face democracy. “I am honored to be a part of an organization with a rich history in supporting communities’ efforts to protect themselves from pollution and other harmful contamination.”
He is also passionate about global justice issues, local and organic farming, civil liberties, wilderness, and alternative energy issues.
Colleen Potocki, Southwest Ohio Field Canvass Director, Ohio Citizen Action.
CLEVELAND – Sandy Buchanan, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action, said today, “I am delighted to announce that we have hired Colleen Potocki to lead our new Southwest Ohio field canvass, starting today. Colleen is bright and energetic and a superb canvasser from the Rape Assistance and Awareness Project in Colorado. She’ll be building a professional staff of door-to-door organizers that will allow us to build on Cincinnati’s growing environmental momentum.”
Potocki, 23, was born and raised in Chicago, the second oldest of seven children. A biochemistry major at the University of Denver, she started canvassing for the Rape Assistance and Awareness Project in Denver in October 2011. She also campaigned in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan, on renewable energy issues, and in Dallas, Texas, on an electronics waste recycling campaign aimed at WalMart. Of the WalMart campaign, Potocki said, “That was the pull that forced me out of my shell.”
She said she is “extremely excited” to be working at Ohio Citizen Action. “This organization has done such great work.”
Buchanan said, “Most Ohio Citizen Action members first became involved because some nice young person came to their door with a clipboard and an opportunity to make a difference. They understand how bringing ‘door-to-door democracy’ to neighborhoods is how our campaigns get results. In one year, a full-time canvasser speaks to 12,500 people, adds 6,250 members and collects 500 handwritten letters to decision makers about our issues.”
There will be a grand opening celebration for the canvass at Park + Vine in Cincinnati on April 21 from 5:00 -7:00 pm. Please RSVP online, or call or email Melissa English, Development Director, Ohio Citizen Action, (513) 221-2100, if you want to attend.
— Paul Ryder, Assistant Director, Ohio Citizen Action
CLEVELAND – “In the thick of a campaign, many grassroots groups decide that starting a campaign website is something beyond their abilities and budget. With all the new gadgets, programs, and apps coming out now, it is easy to become intimidated by all the details and choices. Don’t worry: The internet can be a surprisingly powerful tool in winning your campaign if you just focus on the basics of running a superb website.
“With common sense and attention to detail, your website can become the authoritative source for information on the campaign, and its original content can make news that other media pick up. A strong website can become the pulse of the campaign, so that everyone involved on all sides feels compelled to check the website every morning to find out what’s going on. You will know you’re getting to the company or the government agency when they try to introduce as an item for negotiation when you are going to “take that website down.” (Don’t do it).”
– Paul Ryder, Assistant Director, Ohio Citizen Action
Letters-to-the-editor is one of the most-read parts of the newspaper. In general, the smaller the newspaper, the more a letter-to-the-editor is read and taken seriously.
- You can sometimes find a paper’s guidelines for letters-to-the-editor on the letters page. Newspapers prefer that your letter be typed.
- What is the one important point you want to focus on? Usually, readers will be most interested in what the issue means to you, or to them, or to the community.
- The shorter the letter the better. Most newspapers limit such letters to 200-250 words. If you send a letter longer than their limit,there is a good chance they won’t print it at all, or that they will chop it down to the limit. Wouldn’t you rather decide how to edit your own letter?
- If possible, reference a recent article or another letter. Doing so will increase the chances your letter will be printed.
- If you find yourself with “writer’s block,” imagine running into a friend on the street. What would you say to them? Then just write that down. Adopt a conversational writing style.
- Humor is welcome. Make sure it is real humor, though, not insults, name-calling, or personal attacks pretending to be humor. Readers and editors are sick of that.
- Once you have a draft, review it: Have you used specific, definite, concrete words, rather than general, vague, or abstract words? Have you included facts sparingly? One fact is plenty. Are you are sure of your facts?
- When you’re finished, try out your letter on a friend or relative. They may catch something that got by you.
- Many papers will call you to make sure you really wrote the letter, so please add your name and address and day and evening phone number. When printed, the letter will usually onlyinclude your name and city.
If your letter is printed, we’d love to see it. Please email or mail a copy to Ohio Citizen Action, 614 West Superior Avenue, Suite 1200, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.Questions? Call (216) 861-5200. Thanks.
Where to send your letter:
Akron Beacon Journal
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Dayton Daily News
Smaller papers around the state:
Mansfield News Journal
Lake County News Herald
Springfield News Journal
I wanted to let you know that I will be leaving Ohio Citizen Action next month, after twenty years as executive director. On May 1, I’ll be starting a new position as executive director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a national non-profit organization. The Institute conducts critically important research and analysis of energy issues, and provides information to citizens groups around the country, the media, and decision-makers. We have been working closely with the Institute and its predecessor organization, the Power Plant Finance Project, for the past five years on campaigns to expose the high economic risks of new coal-fired power plants, including the work we are now doing together on the Prairie State coal plant in Southern Illinois.
As you may know, I first joined the staff of Ohio Citizen Action in 1977 as a college student intern. I know what a rare privilege it is to have fallen into working with such a wonderful group of board members, staff, organizational members, and supporters, and to have been able to devote my working life to an organization like this. I am very proud of the work we have accomplished together – from the toxic chemical right to know laws, to the good neighbor campaigns, to the recent successes in moving Ohio away from its reliance on coal-fired power, and everything in between.
I’m happy to say that Ohio Citizen Action will be in good hands, with Rachael Belz serving as interim executive director. Rachael joined our staff in 1996 as our program director in Cincinnati, and has played key roles in statewide coordination, including training and supervising new organizers, fundraising, working closely with the field and phone canvass, and serving as executive director of Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund. The Ohio Citizen Action board, led by board chair Dr. Anne Wise and search committee chair Stephen Gabor, will be conducting a formal search and hiring process over the coming months.
I’ll be at Ohio Citizen Action until April 19th, and will be setting up a Cleveland office of the Institute in May. When I start the new job, my contact information will be available on the Institute website at www.ieefa.org.
Thank you for everything you have done to help make this such a remarkable organization, and I’m looking forward to having our paths cross in the future.
All the best, Sandy
Hudson City Council unanimously passed a measure to increase the hours for door-to-door solicitations in the city at Wednesday night’s meeting. (M.A. Ferguson-Rich/Ohio.com file photo)
HUDSON — “Hudson City Council unanimously passed a measure to increase the hours for door-to-door solicitations in the city at Wednesday night’s meeting.
‘I’ll hold my nose and vote for this,’ council member J. Dan Williams quipped, reflecting his displeasure with the issue.
The measure, which will now allow both non-commercial groups, and salesmen for commercial enterprises to knock on Hudson doors until 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, all year.”
— M.A. Ferguson-Rich, Akron Beacon Journal
link to article
Bay Village City Hall
BAY VILLAGE — “The city has formally denied allegations contained in an Ohio Citizen Action lawsuit and is asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit and award the city legal fees and other reasonable costs.
Law Director Gary Ebert filed the city’s response Feb. 14 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.”
— Bruce Geiselman, Sun News
link to article
CLEVELAND — Christa Ebert became intrigued by the environment’s effect on human health after hearing her grandfather’s long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease may have been caused from the chemical dyes he handled in his work. In the third grade, she started a “Save the Earth” club at Copopa Elementary School in Columbia Station. The club grew to 110 members and encouraged the school administration to recycle.
Ebert began eight years of work at Ohio Citizen Action in Cleveland in 2003, first as a phone canvasser, and then as office manager. She then worked as a program assistant at Hard Hatted Women, and is now Sustainability Program Coordinator at Neighborhood Progress, Inc., a local community development funding intermediary in Cleveland. Meanwhile, Ebert also studied Urban Management at Cleveland State University where she graduated as valedictorian. She continues her education as a Masters student in Cleveland State’s Public Administration program.
In 2011, Christa Ebert was elected to the board of Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund, Ohio Citizen Action’s research and education affiliate, and is now Secretary/Treasurer. She says that serving on the board “allows me to be part of a truly admirable and honest organization.”
Stephen Gabor, right, with Caroline Beidler of Marietta Neighbors for Clean Air.
CLEVELAND – The Ohio Citizen Action Board has just elected Stephen Gabor to be a Board member for a three-year term beginning with the February 16, 2013 board meeting.
Gabor joined the staff of Ohio Citizen Action as a phone canvasser in November 1999. He soon became a Crew Manager and within a year became the organization’s Phone Canvass Director, a post he held for ten years. During that time, he also served as Regional Assistant for the Hudson Bay Company network of field and phone canvasses nationwide, helping to develop better fundraising techniques, better overall management practices and more systematic methods for canvasser retention, including developing and expanding the network’s cross-trainer program. From 2010 to 2012, he was the Cleveland Area Campaign Director for the organization. Gabor is now the General Manager for the Mutt Hutt in Cleveland, an award-winning dog daycare, boarding, grooming, and training facility.
Executive Director Sandy Buchanan said, “We’re so glad to have Stephen return to Ohio Citizen Action as a board member, with his strong commitment to the development of the organization, terrific track record with membership outreach, and strategic thinking about how to tackle environmental issues in Ohio.”
— Paul Ryder, Assistant Director, Ohio Citizen Action
- FirstEnergy announced in January that they would close all four of their outdated, highly polluting coal plants on Lake Erie. This announcement, closely followed by GenOn’s announcement that they would close plants in Avon Lake and Niles, were the result of decades of citizens’ campaigns to enforce the Clean Air Act.
- Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s plans to build a garbage incinerator on the west side of the city ground to a halt after hundreds of Clevelanders wrote to the mayor, attended public hearings and council meetings and exposed the serious financial and environmental flaws in the proposal.
- Cincinnati became the largest city in the nation to contract for 100% clean, renewable energy in May, a result of our campaign to use the power of community buying groups for electricity.
- The U.S. EPA’s rules governing toxic mercury releases from coal plants survived an industry-led attack in the Senate in June. Ohio Citizen Action members had sent 10,000 letters to Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman urging them to defend against the attacks on the Clean Air Act.
- The federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Ohio Citizen Action’s First Amendment rights in February 2012. This decision ended a seven-year legal case versus the City of Englewood, which had enacted unconstitutional restrictions on door-to-door canvassing.
- We supported successful campaigns by citizens in Broadview Heights and Mansfield to pass ballot initiatives in November 2012 restricting drilling and injection of fracking fluids in their communities.
- Pressed by Citizen Action, Attorney General Mike DeWine opened an investigation of Chesapeake Energy, including investments in the company by Ohio Pension Funds.
- Patriot Coal announced it would stop mountaintop removal coal mining, a landmark decision in the work by citizens in Appalachia, Ohio Citizen Action, and many others to stop the heinous practice.
- The Ohio Supreme Court blocked the expanding of the Rumpke landfill in Colerain Township, upholding the position of township trustees and the neighbors of the landfill.
- We introduced a new program for using cell phones to track pollution, and a new “ActionGram” App for people to use to send photo messages to their legislators.
- We presented the Ohio Citizen Action Howard M. Metzenbaum Award to Staughton and Alice Lynd of Niles, Ohio, who have devoted their lives to working for peace, civil rights, and economic and environmental justice.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In memoriam: Ohio Citizen Action fondly remembers several dear friends and supporters who died in 2012, including board member Mike Jones, Keeper of the Mountains Larry Gibson, long-time Ohio Citizen Action member Mark Wisniewski, and Rainforest Action Network director Rebecca Tarbotton.
— Sandy Buchanan, executive director, Ohio Citizen Action
Bay Village City Hall
BAY VILLAGE — “Ohio Citizen Action objects to Bay Village’s earlier canvassing deadline as well as licensing requirements that apply to some but not all solicitors. Certain canvassers, including those who do not seek financial support and solicitors of local newspapers, are exempted from the requirement, according to the lawsuit.
The city’s law ‘unconstitutionally discriminates as to who must comply with the onerous licensing requirements…’ according to the lawsuit.
‘Their law is unconstitutional in about 15 different ways,’ Kobil said.
The 43-page lawsuit outlines alleged violations of rights guaranteed under the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution.”
— Bruce Gieselman, Sun News
link to article
BAY VILLAGE — “Last summer, Bay Village joined neighbors Westlake and Fairview Park in scaling back curfews for solicitors from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. or sundown, whichever comes first.
Ohio Citizen Action, which was canvassing at the time, argues that’s taking away valuable time to talk about important political issues and infringing on free speech. The group is suing, and recently prevailed in a similar case near Cincinnati.
David Hudson of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, says the case could hinge on whether Bay Village can prove the issue is one of privacy and safety.”
— Kabir Bhatia, WKSU
link to article
The earlier deadlines would make it difficult or impossible for Ohio Citizen Action to contact most people who work during the day.
BAY VILLAGE — “The city, which previously imposed a 9 p.m. cutoff, this summer moved the deadline up to 8 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurs first. In addition, it eliminated Sunday hours for soliciting and established licensing requirements for most solicitors.
Ohio Citizen Action, an environmental advocacy group that practices what it calls “door-to-door democracy,” recently notified the city it believes Bay Village’s new restrictions are unconstitutional, infringing on free speech.
“The main thing we would like them to do is respect the First Amendment rights of Ohio Citizen Action and its citizens,” said Daniel Kobil, a law professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus and an attorney for Citizen Action. “The ordinance it has now is violating everyone’s First Amendment rights — speakers, willing listeners and so on.”
Ohio Citizen Action wants Bay Village to go back to the 9 p.m. curfew and eliminate the licensing requirement, Kobil said.”
— Bruce Gieselman, Sun News
link to article
Expertise: Medical/mental heath/ psychosocial administration
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
Barbara Wood first became involved with Ohio Citizen Action when she was active in a good neighbor campaign with Georgia Pacific to close their waste pit and reduce pollution in the Southfield/Marion Franklin neighborhood of Columbus. She found the organizational mission to work with communities at the grassroots on local pollution problems compelling enough to join the board. “I have lived on the Southside – Marion Franklin Area, since 1968 when I emigrated from Great Britain. At that time, the area was called Southfield Gardens and businesses providing services included the Busy Bee Market, Boyd’s Barber Shop, The Drug Store, Sill’s Ball Park (the Little League baseball field), two Laundromats, two or three gasoline stations. Many changes have taken place over the past 40 years. Most significantly has been the unhealthy environment created by the pollution from the ever increasing industrial sites. The residential areas are hemmed in by ‘M’ zoning districts, industrial sites and railroads. In spite of the challenges, I continue to remain optimistic and energized as many positive activities are underway.”
Barbara’s long career in healthcare led to her service on several boards and membership in groups as diverse as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Humane Society. She is also active in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the inner city and preventing elder mistreatment and abuse.
Read more Board of Directors profiles