Thursday, January 27, 2011
(VIDEO) FRACKING SERIES - ITS UNANIMOUS, THE KEY PLAYERS THINK PONDER DID A GOOD (IN THE SENSE OF FAIRNESS) JOB IN MODERATING THE JANUARY 20TH FRACKING DEBATE & THE SCPR AGREES. BE SURE TO ATTEND TONIGHT'S MEETING TO HEAR THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WEIGH IN
Week 2 of the fracking debate continues tonight at Oakwood Middle School (2300 Schneider, NE) in Plain Township at 7:00 PM.
And, if Week 1 was any indication of how Week 2 will go; it is well worth the time and effort of Stark Countians to attend the event tonight. Everyone that the SCPR spoke with after last week's meeting agreed: Ron Ponder (Points to Ponder - WHBC1480NEWSTALK) did a superb job in managing the first week's aspect of a two meeting format. Last week industry representatives debated environmentalists in the context of questioning from Ponder and members of the audience (about 300 in number).
Chris Borello of the Stark County Concerned Citizens on videotape (see below) says that Ponder managed Week 1 fairly. However, she does criticize him for jesting with a lady from West Virginia to the point of saying, in e-mails to those interested in following her take on the fracking issue, that he needs to apologize to the lady (Marilyn Hunt) of Liberty and Justice (she says), West Virginia.
But anyone who knows Ron Ponder know that no offense was meant. He provides his daily listeners on Points to Ponder with a steady diet of Ponder-humor.
In the video that follows, SCPR identified "key players" in the Stark County fracturing debate (Ponder, Borello, Trustee Scott Haws (Plain), Trustee Louis Giavasis (Plain), state Representative Kirk Schuring and state Senator Scott Oelslager comment on the tone of the January 20th meeting.
Also, Borello and Haws speak of the format. Borello is concerned that Ponder not allow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR - which will have four representatives at tonight's meeting) and an invited geologist to respond to Q&A from the audience. Trustee Haws' expectation is that tonight's format will follow that of the 20th. The Report agrees with Haws.
Plain Township Trustee (and board president) Louis Giavasis (the person who got the ball rolling to hold public meetings in Plain on fracking) has an interesting proposal that he is working on with area state legislators to be made the law of Ohio.
His proposal is for state government to require drillers to a post bond equivalent to cover the damage done should there be an "accident" in doing fracking (vertical and horizontal - drilling for natural gas encased in rock thousands of feet below the surface).
Giavasis cites an example where a drilling for oil accident in Plain about 10 years ago or so caused a pollution of the drinking water in the Steiner Heights neighborhood of Plain. He says that the fix cost Plain Township about $1 million. Taking that experience and relocating a "hypothetical" accident to Middlebranch in Plain (about 3 miles from an alternative water supply), he says that the fix could cost Plain Township $15 million. Accordingly, he wants the Ohio General Assembly to require drilling companies to post a bond to cover a worst case scenario.
Giavasis says that Reps Schuring, Slesnick and Senator Oelslager have expressed interest in helping him get a change in Ohio law.
The SCPR's reaction? A good idea that likely will never see the light of day in a legislative body badly compromised by political campaign money flowing from Ohio's oil and gas industry.
Here is the video of Ponder, Borello, Haws, Giavasis, Schuring and Oelslager addressing there takes on the January 20th meeting.
Posted by Martin Olson at 8:22 AM