Decries ODNR criticism of fracking foes

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I read with great interest Marc Kovac's Feb. 18 article in the Record-Courier ("Kasich no longer wants fracking in state parks"). In it he quotes Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the ODNR, as referring to "these secretly funded extremists groups."

The groups to which I assume she is referring include Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council and the Natural Resources Defense Fund ("among others"). As a long-standing member of each of these groups, I can state unequivocally that none of them is either "secretly funded" or "extremist."

The term "skilled propagandists" is almost ludicrous. As a professional scientist who has lectured and researched hydraulic fracturing for the past three years, I can assure the ODNR that every statement I make is backed by peer-reviewed studies published in respectable journals.

The same can be said for other so-called "environmental activists." We are not in the business of "creating public panic about perceived health risks." There is nothing "perceived" about them. They have been thoroughly documented.

The ODNR is under the direct control of Governor Kasich, who has publicly welcomed the gas drillers into Ohio "with open arms." It comes as no surprise, therefore, to read that this department is working hand in glove with gas industry groups. As concerned citizens, it is critical that we know who is working with (and for) whom.

Theodore J. Voneida, Kent

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  • Mr Voneida, you have written many times to the Record Courier. You've often expressed extremist views, so it's no wonder that you belong to the Sierra Club, etc. who have similar views. For you not to see that you share extremists views with them is not unusual, but it doesn't change the truth. Just like your statement that every statment you "make is backed by peer-reviewed studies" doesn't make them true. Besides, I've read your many letters to the Editor, and I know that you make false statements. We'll let time determine if your fracking statements are true, but in the meantime, I'll believe the scientists at ODNR, hired by both liberal and conservative leadership, before I believe someone who admits they belong to the Sierra Club, who has taken many extremist views.