Our View: Taking a proactive stance on drilling in Kent

A Policy on fracking on land owned by KSU, city is a good idea

Published:

While local authorities

are limited in regulating drilling activities within their jurisdiction, they are not entirely powerless. A decision by Kent City Council directing the city administration to work with Kent State University to develop a joint policy on "fracking" is a proactive move that is commendable.

Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer urged council to contact Kent State to work on a policy that would address drilling activities on land owned by the university or the city. Having a policy in place now would be beneficial if publicly owned sites ever are considered for oil and gas drilling.

Council approved Shaffer's recommendation along with one urging the city's Sustainability Commission to notify the public and council if "unconventional drilling activities" are imminent "in the vicinity of Kent."

A university spokesperson said there are no plans at this time to initiate drilling on the campus. While there are conventional oil and gas wells in Kent and Franklin Township, no horizontal fracturing is occurring there now.

That doesn't mean, however, that fracking might not occur in the future. A large tract on Kent's west side is being tapped for a conventional gas well, and that site could be a possible location. There are also open areas owned by the campus that could be utilized, too.

When a citizens' group raised the possibility of a citywide ban on fracking, Law Director Jim Silver advised council against proceeding with that idea because he said it would prompt a legal battle with the state, which regulates drilling, and Kent was likely to end up on the losing end.

The city and Kent State could, however, decide as a policy matter that they will not permit drilling on land that they own. That might be one way of limiting fracking within the city limits.

Councilwoman Shaffer's suggestion is a good one. Council has acted wisely in pursuing it.

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  • Trawl, what I realize is that you don't know Jesus. I do.

  • As usual today’s liberals have it twisted “Bass Ackwards”. Jesus was certainly a Radical Liberal in his day but that was in comparison to the truth-twisting hypocrites who professed to be pious followers of the faith in the word of God and his commandments. In reality they only followed their own self-enrichment while twisting the faith in to something other then God’s teachings and commandments. I do not think Jesus would be considered a “Radical Liberal” today I suspect he is more in tune to the conservatives of the world today and that is mostly true of all religious beliefs of the modern world and the orthodox teachings of those religions.

  • ChildofGod, do you realize Jesus is a Radical Liberal?

  • It's pretty amusing to see this group of people who's only criteria for their argument is imagining the position a "liberal" would take, or being told something is "liberal" then their taking the opposite position. No thought required.

  • Time for that old auto response programed into the rest of us in the county.......What do you expect.... it's Kent......By the way those of you in Kent... That's sure not meant as a complement.

  • It's hard for me to envision a lot of drillers fighting tooth and nail to drill in Kent. There are too many places to drill that aren't run by the liberal fringe. Don't worry, Kent, nobody is going to ask you to the dance.

  • The Record Courier labeled the Kent City / Kent State proposal as being "pro-active" regarding a joint "fracking" policy. Isn't it more accurate to call it an "anti-active" policy, or maybe an "anti-productive" or "unresonable" policy. Instead of trying to add to the tax coffers by promoting private sector projects, like the wonderful "Tiger Grant encouraged" project in DownTown Kent, the radical liberals had to throw some mud against the wall, hoping some sticks, instead of independently researching the pros and cons of Fracking. Since the State of Ohio has done that and found it safe, and is doing it again to further show their political fairness, why not just wait for that new study to be completed? It appears that the radical liberals are just trying to do "something" to show they are still here. The reasonable liberals in Kent assisted in the DownTown Kent redevelopment by cooperating with the private sector, not painting them as polluters when there is little to no evidence to verify that accusation. Hey, instead of being obstacles to good growth and more jobs, how about coming up with a project, any project that adds jobs without raising taxes. Havn't you noticed that it can be done, even in Kent?

  • The R-C is always in favor of a new tax just like Kent Council but opposes the use of a God given resource. The Sustainability committee has all of the same credibility as the 25 year college graduate who gives lectures on sustainable living practices while not working, living at home with Mom and Dad, eating their food, driving their car on their insurance and gas and not paying back a taxpayer given college loan. A phony cause supported and promoted by phonies who leach on those who produce in society. Quit whining about fracking and work to build our country back into a power that will support our society rather then tax it into more debt and decline.

  • The policy ought to be to encourage fracking on public land, in order to bring in revenue to the public coffers and reduce the need for taxes.