Disgusting: Tell Senator Brown to ‘break up’ with Chesapeake Energy!

We’re shocked and disappointed to learn that Senator Brown wants to sell out his constituents to Chesapeake Energy as they destroy Ohio’s groundwater and community health for short term profits.  Brown is hosting an open house event with these community and environmental criminals.  The Senator is choosing to ignore the fact that his citizens are being poisoned, shaken by earthquakes, and forced to live with flammable tap water thanks to Chesapeake’s desire for short term profits.  And this industry is deadly for workers.  Hazardous cancer causing chemicals, blowouts, and spills are poisonous for workers with little or no protection.  Instead of demanding the industry halt all operation until they disclose the chemicals they use and violations they’ve accrued he’s apparently ok with leaving the bodies of his citizens as polluted dumping grounds.  We need to educate Brown about why this is unacceptable for Ohio. Continue reading

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REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE APRIL 13th ACTION CAMP!

Ohio Fracktion is hosting a major three day event in Cleveland to help kick off a season of anti-fracking action, and registration is now open!

The Action Camp, which will start at 3pm on Friday, April 13th and run until Sunday, April 15th, will feature workshops on many issues relevant to the movement against fracking in Ohio, as well as its place in a larger movement against extractive industry.

WHERE: Cleveland (please register or email ohiofracktion@gmail.com for directions)

When: April 13th 3:00pm –April 15th 5:00pm

Cost: Pay what you can… somewhere between zero and 50 dollars please!

WORKSHOPS WILL INCUDE:

-Know your rights training

-Community panel featuring folks from both shale and coal fields who will give their personal testimony

-Water testing training

For a full list of workshops, click here!  Feel free to email us with suggestions: ohiofracktion@gmail.com

THERE WILL BE A SCREENING OF GASLAND FRIDAY NIGHT AT 9:00 pm

Please don’t forget to register online and contact us with any additional questions.

Your can find more information here, or on facebook.

Ohioan lights water on fire next to fracked well!

TAKE ACTION: Join with 350.org to tell Obama an “all of the above” energy like fracking & Keystone XL dooms water and climate.

Water on Fire:  In this video you can see water in a shallow depression that is highly contaminated and bubbling flammable compounds.   The terrifying impacts of fracking are REAL and they’re here in Ohio.  The landowner in this video is able to light the gas coming out.  This is why we need people taking action, and this is why that action needs to be happening NOW!

Obama has made hydrofracking as well as dirty energy projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline part of his call for “all of the above” energy policy regardless of the impacts on human health or climate. For those of us living next to fracking sites like the landowner in the film “all of the above” energy policy means creeks bubbling with methane and water we can light on fire.

We’re not going to stand for an ‘all of the above’ energy policy that DOOMS us to poisoned water and climate disaster.

That’s why we’re asking everyone to join us in Columbus tomorrow with 350.org to meet Obama in Columbus and let him know that we support clean renewable energy and will not let these dirty industries poison our neighbors.

Click here to RSVP for the action on Facebook for the event in Columbus Tomorrow (Thursday) at 2pm Continue reading

Arrested activists released

The 3 activists arrested for attempting to walk into the public grounds on which the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sit are all out of jail this morning on a combined bail of $405.

Thank you for those who have continued to generously support our revolving bail fund which allows anti-fracking activists to post-bail for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.

Thank you to Janet and WFMJ 21 news for your great coverage of the story.  You’re doing NE Ohio and your profession credit.

UPDATE: ODNR arrests 3 trying to enter public property

3 Ohioans decided to cross the yellow lines officers had erected to keep citizens from entering the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and were arrested before they reached the gates to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Officials refused to give their reasons for not allowing citizen access or their legal authority to deny access to public buildings or property during stated open business hours.

Please help contribute to their bail funds so they can begin fighting this injustice!  https://www.wepay.com/donate/110786 Continue reading

Activists arrested at ODNR sit-in

3 activists were arrested for requesting water testing ohioans contaimanted by toxic fracking wastewater during their occupation of an ODNR office.

Here is their statement.  Please help contribute to our bail fund to release activists!

CONTACT: Ben Shapiro, Annie Lukins, (216) 586-4890; ohiofracktion@gmail.com

We are sitting in today because John Kasich’s Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) is selling out the land and people of Ohio to the gas industry.

We are sitting in because ODNR has failed to protect our friends and neighbors whose water, air, and soil have been poisoned by hydraulic fracturing.

We are sitting in because ODNR has refused to test the toxic fracking wastewater that is being injected into over 170 wells throughout the state, even when explicitly requested to do so.

We are sitting in because we are from Youngstown, where injection wells have shaken our earth.

We are sitting in because we are from Warren, where toxic fracking wastewater has invaded our municipal water supply.

We are sitting in because we live in Cuyahoga County, where gas wells threaten the health and safety of our neighbors.

We are sitting in because we are not expendable, and we will not allow Ohio to remain a dumping ground for toxic fracking wastewater.

We are sitting in because wastewater is the Achilles’ heel of the fracking industry, and shutting down Ohio’s poisonous injection wells will slow down hydraulic fracturing operations across the Marcellus and Utica shales.

We are sitting in because we are inspired by the Lakota people who have stood up and taken direct action to stop the tar sands pipeline from destroying their land

We are sitting in because we are inspired by those West Virginians who have stood up to the coal industry put their bodies on the line to stop the blasting of the Appalachian mountains.

We are sitting in because we are inspired by our friends from Ohio and our allies from the Blood Tribe who have blockaded fracking trucks and physically resisted operations of the gas industry across the continent.

We are sitting in because we are inspired by a worldwide tradition of resistance to the destruction of extractive industries.

We are sitting in because we envision a world where corporate rule is put to rest, and communities are empowered to make those decisions that directly affect their lives.

We are sitting in because we will not be silent and we will not be bought.

We are sitting in because we can’t drink money.

We are sitting in because if we don’t, we don’t know who else will.

-John Williams, Jonathan Sidney, Matthew Wengerd

UPDATE: 3 arrested as ODNR lockdown prevents citizens from accessing public records and officials

After the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced last week they would lift a voluntary suspension on construction of new injection wells in Ohio for toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, Ohioans attempted to enter the ODNR office demanding an immediate moratorium on underground injection fracking wastewater, a meeting between key ODNR officials and directly impacted community members, mandatory testing of wastewater, and the provision of written public records policy in response to a history of withholding public documents.

However, officials locked the gates outside the ODNR offices and set up a barricade to prevent citizens from presenting their requests. Although the compound of buildings is public property, nobody was allowed to pass.

Three citizens were arrested for crossing the barricade in an attempt to deliver their requests to ODNR offices. To read their statements, click here.

Protesters are demanding, “Tear down this line” and “Test this water.”

“If this is how ODNR, and public officials treat citizens we ask—Who are you working for?” said Ben Shapiro of Ohiofracktion. “Today, officials are traveling to the Hilton to meet with top industry executives but won’t even open their doors to citizens being poisoned by their irresponsible decisions.”

“If Ohio’s regulations are as protective as the ODNR claims, why are drilling companies in surrounding states paying additional transportation and brine hauling fees to bring it all the way to Ohio?” said John Williams, a 55-year-old resident of Youngstown. “We are here today to send a message to the gas industry and our so-called regulators that we are not expendable and we will not be sold out!”

Williams, along with Matthew Wengerd, a 21-year-old resident of Warren, and Jonathan Sidney, a 22-year-old resident of Cleveland, held a banner reading “BAN TOXIC INJECTION WELLS NOW.”

Fracking has polluted drinking water supplies in communities all across the country. ProPublica has identified more than 1,000 cases of water contamination near drilling sites documented by courts, states, and local governments.1 The process requires hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water that is combined with nearly 700 chemicals, many of them known human carcinogens. There are currently more than 190 injection wells in this state, with plans pending to construct more. The ODNR recently concluded that a series of 12 earthquakes in the Youngstown area were likely caused by injection wells.2

To date, the ODNR has ignored multiple Ohio residents’ requests to test toxic injection materials, and has no written policy guaranteeing that Ohioans can access public records relevant to the health and safety of their communities. They frequently refuse to provide these records upon request.

“The ODNR is supposed to protect the health and safety of Ohio residents, but when they refuse to test fracking fluid, won’t grant records requests in a reasonable amount of time, and don’t allow directly affected communities to speak at hearings, are they really working for us? Banning injection wells until these questions are answered is the only option to protect our safe drinking water” said Wengerd.

Protestors are asking ODNR to:

1) Initiate a statewide program of testing for injection material samples from every company that injects brine into Ohio injection wells and that these results be immediately released. Chief Simmers has the authority to order this testing under Section 1509.06 of the Ohio Revised Code, and nevertheless has ignored repeated requests to test injection materials. ODNR must begin this testing program and release initial results within one week.

2) Hold a public meeting to address resident concerns regarding injection wells presented in the attached document. We demand written responses to the attached questions prior to the beginning of this meeting, and an open forum for expression of resident concerns at the meeting. Director James Zehringer, Deputy Director Andy Ware, Chief Rick Simmers, Deputy Chief Tom Tugend, and Geologist Tom Tomastik must all be present at this meeting. This meeting must take place within one week.

3) Publish a written records request policy that guarantees resident access to public records within five business days. All relevant records must be made available prior to any public notice. This policy must be published within one week.

To watch a live stream of the event, click here.

For more information, click here.

—————

1. Lutsgarten, Abraham. “Buried secrets: Is natural gas drilling endangering U.S. water supplies?” ProPublica. Nov. 13, 2008. As cited by Food and Water Watch.

2. Click here.

Concerned Residents Occupy ODNR Demanding Injection Well Moratorium

After the Ohio Department of Natural Resources lifted a ban on new injection wells, Citizens from across Ohio have gathered their Columbus headqarter to DEMAND a ban on injection wells until brine water is tested, public records are made available in a timely manner to citizens, and there are public hearings with community members directly impacted by drilling and injection of fracking waste-water.

**Security guards at the site have SHUT THE GATES to prevent citizens from entering the public complex of ODNR.  Their authority to deny citizens access to public buildings and grounds during business hours has not been explained.

See the livestream here.  If you have a problem viewing the stream click HERE.

http://www.ustream.tv/embed/9516099
Video streaming by
http://www.ustream.tv/socialstream/9516099

PRESS RELEASE

March 14, 2012
CONTACT: Ben Shapiro, Annie Lukins, (216) 586-4890; ohiofracktion@gmail.com

Concerned Residents Occupy ODNR Demanding Injection Well Moratorium

Who watches the watchers?

Columbus, OH – After the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced they would lift a voluntary suspension on construction of new injection wells in Ohio for toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, outraged residents from Northeast Ohio have staged a sit-in at their office demanding an immediate moratorium upon underground injection of fracking wastewater, a meeting between key ODNR officials and directly impacted community members, mandatory testing of wastewater, and to provide a written public records policy in response to a history of withholding public documents.

“If Ohio’s regulations are as protective as the ODNR claims, why are drilling companies in surrounding states paying additional transportation and brine hauling fees to bring it all the way to Ohio?” said John Williams, a 55-year-old resident of Youngstown.  “We are here today to send a message to the gas industry and our so-called regulators that we are not expendable and we will not be sold out!”

Williams, along with Matthew Wengerd, a 21-year-old resident of Warren, and Jonathan Sidney, a 22-year-old resident of Cleveland, are seated in the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources – the office responsible for permitting hydraulic fracturing and injection wells – with a banner reading “BAN TOXIC INJECTION WELLS NOW.”  They are refusing to leave the ODNR until the regulatory agency agrees to test wastewater, establish a written records policy that ensures residents access to public documents relevant to their communities, and hold a meeting to answer questions from communities directly impacted by drilling.

Fracking has polluted drinking water supplies in communities all across the country. ProPublica has identified more than 1,000 cases of water contamination near drilling sites documented by courts, states, and local governments.[1]  The process requires hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water that is combined with nearly 700 chemicals, many of them known human carcinogens.  There are currently over 190 injection wells in this state, with plans pending to construct more.  The ODNR recently concluded that a series of 12 earthquakes in the Youngstown area were likely caused by injection wells.[2]

To date the ODNR has ignored multiple Ohio residents’ requests to test toxic injection materials, and has no written policy guaranteeing that Ohioans can access public records relevant to the health and safety of their communities.  They frequently refuse to provide these records upon request.

“The ODNR is supposed to protect the health and safety of Ohio residents, but when they refuse to test fracking fluid, won’t grant records requests in a reasonable amount of time, and don’t allow directly affected communities to speak at hearings, are they really working for us?  Banning injection wells until these questions are answered is the only option to protect our safe drinking water” said Wengerd. Continue reading

March 14 Plan: Update

Join Ohio fracking activists from across the state and Occupy the Rust Belt for a day of action this Wednesday the 14th in Columbus. See our full plan for more information!


Logistical Updates

  • The anti-fracking contingent will convene at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday outside the state capital, and the rally outside the statehouse will begin at 12:45.  We encourage groups to undertake autonomous acts of resistance to the fracking industry throughout Wednesday, either in Columbus or in your own community.
  • There will be limited free parking in a lot on the northwest corner of 4th and State St., and Occupy the Rust Belt will be fundraising change to cover meter fees for those who wish to use metered parking. Other parking garages are accessible for a fee of about $5-8, and there is also free parking available at Goodale Park, located about a mile away from the statehouse.
  • There will be a planning meeting for Wednesday’s day of action at Progress Ohio (near the Statehouse, 172 E. State St.) at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday night, followed by a screening of Split Estate.

For more information, see our March 14th event page. Email ohiofracktion@gmail.com with any questons. See ya’ll there!

ODNR Comes Under Scrutiny From Ohio Residents

Residents of Ohio are losing faith in their so-called regulatory institution. An article published in Raw Story, a DC based broadcasting organization highlights the brave residents of Youngstown Ohio, who are beginning to doubt, and even completely dismiss the regulatory power of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Dr. Jeffrey Dick, Chair of the Geology Department at Youngstown State University says ODNR has already fallen behind with online listings of permitted horizontal wells, which have only been permitted in the area since 2011. According to Dr. Dick, there are now more than 85,000 vertical fracking wells in Ohio, with about 60,000 currently active. ODNR firmly asserts that their staff of 30-40 inspectors is doing an adequate job monitoring and recording these wells, as well as the new horizontal and injection wells, but residents are seeing little evidence of their vigilance.   Continue reading