Bungle in the Jungle: Cincinnati Council Misses the Mark in Oil and Gas Resolution
Last week Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution asking the state to allow Cincinnati to ban oil and gas development. While it may appear to be politically proactive, it’s a move based not on any scientific facts (far from it). It’s also an issue the city and county will never have to worry about.
Prior to the City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan held a news conference on the steps of City Hall. During the news conference Councilwoman Quinlivan stated “I believe local officials should have a say on all matters related to potentially hazardous activities such as fracking.”
Here are a few facts Vice Mayor Qualls, Councilwoman Quinlivan and their fellow collogues on the council need to have considered prior to making such a resolution, regardless of it’s actual relevance:
On Hydraulic Fracturing and Oil and Gas Development in Cincinnati:
- There has never been a single producing well in Cincinnati or Harrison County
- There will never be any Utica Shale development in or near Hamilton County
- Hydraulic fracturing is not a new process. It is a completion process that has been used safely and effectively in Ohio since 1953
- During its entire 60 year history there has not been a single confirmed case of groundwater contamination caused by the hydraulic fracturing process, a fact that has been noted by multiple studies, regulators across the United States and EPA Director Lisa Jackson.
- Without hydraulic fracturing the US would lose 45 percent of domestic natural gas production and 17 percent of our oil production within five years.
Something Cincinnati City Council should have also considered that with the loss of natural gas production, Cincinnati would suffer more than most cities:
- The Utica Shale that will be produced in eastern Ohio, where there is shale development, will produce natural gas liquids which are key components that makes ethylene which is used to make polymers These polymers are used by Procter and Gamble, headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, to make their plastic containers to hold all of their brands of household goods and beauty products
- LyondellBasell’s Cincinnati Technology Center, which serves as the research and development center for LyondellBasell’s North American polymers business, has to have oil and natural gas development to function and employ over 200 local residents
- Rohm and Haas needs the ethylene produced by oil and gas development to manufacture their vinyl siding, pvc pipe and plastic bottles
These are a few considerations that the Cincinnati City Council should taken prior to passing last week’s symbolic resolution. The next time the council seeks to pass a resolution – whether it is for actual benefit to the community or, in this case, political posturing – it would behoove it’s members to do more diligent research on issue at hand, and base their decisions on both the best interests of it’s constituents and fact over sensationalism and political convenience.