BG environmentalists push charter to prevent fracking

<p> <font size="2">Environmentalists are trying to pass a charter amendment that would block oil companies from fracking in Bowling Green.</font> </p>

Environmentalists are trying to pass a charter amendment that would keep oil companies from fracking in Bowling Green.

The Bowling Green Charter Amendment Committee hosted a public forum on Tuesday to raise awareness for the issue, which is up for vote on the November ballot. About a dozen supporters gathered at the Happy Badger Café to hear a panel of fracking experts discuss issues related to drilling in Bowling Green.

â??Oil and gas companies have been in this area buying up mineral rights for over a year now,â?? said Lisa Kochhesier, of the Bowling Green Charter Amendment Committee. She added, â??It comes with a lot of economic, environmental, and human health impacts.â??

Fracking is a process used to extract oil and natural gas from deposits deep below the ground. Although the soil in Bowling Green is rich with oil, the absence of enough natural pressure means oil companies must extract the resource by fracking.

â??Itâ??s a health hazard because theyâ??ll put it in peopleâ??s backyards, theyâ??ll put it right beside playgrounds, in shopping center parking lots,â?? said Kochheiser. She added, â??Itâ??s not healthy for it to be that close to people.â??

The charter aims to prevent oil companies from fracking, something the committee says local ordinances fail to do. Kochheiser said similar charters passed in other Ohio cities that successfully prevented or curbed fracking, and have not been challenged in court.

Residents can vote on the charter amendment now through November 5th.