COLUMBUS — Like most Ohio landowners, members of the Ohio Farmers Union discussed Ohio’s natural gas boom during their 2012 public policy discussion, held during their convention Jan. 27-28.
The group’s members approved language for this year that supports a limited moratorium on the issuance of permits by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for new instances of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the state.
U.S. EPA is currently studying what, if any, effects fracking has on ground and surface water, according to Ron Sylvester, OFU’s director of external relations. He said that OFU members from the eastern and northeastern areas of Ohio are being inundated with information, both pro and con, about the gas industry and the effects of fracking.
OFU did not join others in calling for a longer moratorium.
“We believe that, at the end of the day, this opportunity can be handled in a way that is fair to farmers and landowners from a market standpoint, environmentally responsible and with appropriate, responsible rules for the industry,” Sylvester said.
Other policy. In other business, the Ohio Farmers Union approved 2012 policy language which: called for the restoration of full funding for the office of the Ohio Consumers Counsel, opposes privatization of the Ohio Turnpike, supports Ohio Dept. of Agriculture wishes to expand the farmer-funded Ohio Indemnity Fund, and re-affirmed its support for Ohio’s current energy policy, which calls for 25 percent of electricity generated for Ohio to be from renewable resources by 2025.