Mark your calendar for Tuesday August 4th and take action against fracking!
In recent months we've heard some positive news and seen some victories in the struggle to end fossil fuel extraction, but the industry is digging its heals in and pushing to keep us dependent on its products.
While the leasing in the Marietta Unit is on hold, right now the Buckeye Xpress Pipeline, which will transport gas for Columbia Gas, is under construction in southeast Ohio, where it will pass through the Ironton Unit of Wayne National Forest.
If we want to protect the forest, the rivers and streams, and the neighboring rural communities from fossil fuel projects, our society must transition to cleaner energy sources, and stop building new plants that depend on these toxic products.
Ohio State University's proposal for a new combined heat and power plant on campus, which will run on fracked gas, is a big step in the wrong direction. This plant will create a demand for more fracking, putting vulnerable places like the Wayne at greater risk. It will also increase air pollution in Columbus, where residents already suffer from poor air quality.
Of course, the methane from this entire process will contribute to the climate crisis, which threatens the existence of humans and wildlife.
OSU doesn't have to do this. Other universities are developing onsite renewable generation, entering into power purchase agreements with solar or wind farms, and using geothermal and other technologies for heating. Whatever money OSU saves right now by going with gas is not worth the costs.
In June the Ohio Power Siting Board held a virtual public hearing where 20 community members spoke out and urged the agency to reject the proposal. Now a second hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday August 4th at 6pm. If you agree that our communities deserve better, please consider speaking at the hearing!
The deadline to register is Monday August 3rd. If you'd like to sign up, fill out this form before the deadline. You can also watch the live stream of the hearing on the Public Utility Commission of Ohio's Youtube channel and join other concerned Ohioans in live tweeting using the hashtag #NoOSUGas
OSU should not power its campus on the backs of "sacrifice zones." Fracking and pipelines harm rural communities and natural areas. They threaten our air and water and often have accidents such as leaks and explosions that put us in danger.
OSU should choose cleaner technology for its power source. If the research institution can't figure this out on their own, maybe they should look to other universities that have decided to be leaders in the fight for a livable future.
It doesn't make sense for OSU to build a new gas plant when the City of Columbus is making plans to transition to renewable energy in the near future. OSU should get in line with this plan, if not lead the way!
Improving air quality should be a top priority during a global respiratory pandemic. Pollution from a new gas plant will harm the health of students, faculty and staff, college sports fans, and residents of nearby neighborhoods.