Energy / Hydraulic Fracturing

‘Fracking’ fears delay lease auction in Wayne National Forest

COLUMBUS — “A plan to lease more than 3,000 acres in the Wayne National Forest for oil and gas drilling was put on hold yesterday after protests from environmental advocates and local government officials.

Oil and gas wells have been drilled in the Wayne for years, but the federal government’s plan to offer as much as 3,302 acres during a Dec. 7 public auction inspired new fears about the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Energy companies want to drill into Ohio’s Utica shale with the help of fracking, the high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground to shatter the rock and free trapped oil and gas.

Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl protested the plan. He said he’s worried that fracking chemicals and drilling wastes would pollute the city’s drinking water supply.

‘The concern, of course, is the potential for this to get into groundwater,’ Wiehl said.”

— Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch

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