Fracking Athens (College Project)

From August 2014 to December 2014 I worked on a months long project to identify all the different dynamics of the fracking industry in Southeast, Ohio. I talked to hundreds of community members in and around Athens County from lawyers to activists to homeowners to students about their concerns, fears, and human rights. Through my exploration of the many complexities of this environmental issue, I hope to have raised some awareness about hydraulic fracturing in Ohio. 

One Last Effort Before Election Day

Election day is on November 4, this upcoming Tuesday and Issue 7 is about to face the moment of truth. Richard McGinn, Chairman of the Bill of Rights Committee in Athens had one last special guest to bring to Athens before people head to the polls. 

Environmental advocate, co-founder of Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods and Broadview Heights resident Tish O'Dell visted Athens to discuss the Bill of Rights that was passed in her town back in 2012. 

Broadview Heights' Bill of Rights outlines many of the same key points that Athens residents are proposing, all of which prohibit any new drilling within city limits. However, Broadview Heights has 90 extraction wells, wells that are used to access the oil, in a 13 mile radius. There are wells in homeowner's backyards and within a kickball's distance from playgorunds. Those wells haven't gone anywhere since the city passed their laws. In fact, two fracking corporations are trying to drill new wells and have sued the city for permission. The residents are concerned, especially since the judge will not allow the people to have any stake in the ruling. 

"We wanted to be defendants with the city, but we got denied," said O'Dell. 

O'Dell believes the only way to stop the corporations from taking over is to get the people to stand together. And she believes the same will hold true for Athens residents if their Bill of Rights passes on Nov. 4. 

"We've all been woken up to this, we need to wake up more people," O'Dell said. "It's the people who are going to make the changes, not the politicians."

McGinn has high hopes for Issue 7 this time around and said he hasn't seen or heard any opposition to it since they started drafting the Bill of Rights.