Fracking debate continues in Bowling Green - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Fracking debate continues in Bowling Green

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Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, isn't practiced within city limits, but Mayor Richard Edwards worried it could hurt the drinking water supply if it was ever allowed in Bowling Green.  It was part of the reason city council unanimously passed a fracking ban two weeks ago.

"People have some fear and some real concerns and some understandable concerns from my point of view," says mayor Richard Edwards.  "I'm concerned about the city of Bowling Green and we feel this would not be an appropriate place for fracking to occur."

The controversial method extracts natural gas from the earth by shooting a chemical liquid into the ground at high pressure.  Some environmentalists worry that chemical could hurt local water supplies.

Another group in BG wants to take that push a step further.  They're drumming up voter support to get the fracking ban officially worked into the city charter this November.  They worry an ordinance alone could be overturned down the road.

"It hurts property values, it hurts human health and it pollutes the environment," says BG Charter Amendment Committee chair, Lisa Kochheiser.

Not everyone sees fracking as a bad choice, some highlight the positive impacts like lower utility costs and job growth.  Chris Kozak with Columbia Gas says generating electricity with natural gas releases less carbon dioxide in the air compared to coal.

"Gas rates are the lowest they've been in ten years, so we do feel a pretty significant impact here from fracking," Kozak comments.

Even with the ban, local gas experts say it's unlikely to see fracking in or near BG because there's not much gas underground.  The quality of drinking water affects everyone, and keeping it safe will always be a top priority.

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