Appalachian Basin

Columbus Anti-Fracking Rally a Huge Bust

This week, anti-fracking activists announced that they would be appearing on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest House Bill 8, which supports the leasing of mineral rights on state-controlled land. The bill passed in the Ohio House in March on a unanimous vote.

According to a press release for the rally:

“On Tuesday, April 28, ‘Stop Fracking Ohio’ Lobby Day will bring residents from all over the state to voice their concerns to their legislators about proposed legislation in the Senate to allow state lands to be forced into oil and gas drilling leases. Supported by local and national groups, affected Ohioans are calling for legislators to scrap the proposed House Bill 8, and to not allow drilling on any state-controlled land. (emphasis added)

But as you can see from the picture below, the attendance wasn’t exactly stellar:

jackie protest

The press release also mentioned that special interest groups, whose goal is to stop hydraulic fracturing across the country, were organizing the rally. These groups include: Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club Ohio Chapter, Columbus Community Bill of Rights, Athens County Fracking Action Network, and the Buckeye Forest Council.

Judging from the turnout, it looks like the only people in attendance were those employed by these anti-fracking groups. This isn’t surprising, though, given the vast benefits shale development has brought to communities across Ohio.

According to the Ohio Shale Report: Quarterly Economic Trends for Ohio’s Oil and Gas Industries, job growth within Ohio’s oil and gas industry reached 190,157 by the second quarter of 2014. What’s even more promising is that counties supporting shale development saw a 66 percent decline in total unemployment since 2010.

Despite being invited to yesterday’s rally, residents from all over Ohio choose to support the continued development of our shale resources. And rightly so: this industry has brought jobs and prosperity to communities across the Buckeye state.

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