Fracking plant proposed for OSU requires critical review

Aug 13, 2020 in The Columbus Dispatch by Aaron Dunbar

On Aug. 4, I provided testimony to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in opposition to a proposed fracked gas plant being considered at Ohio State University.

I do not live in Columbus, but rather in a small Appalachian community in southeast Ohio. I’m from one of the so-called “sacrifice zones” that’s at the front lines when it comes to natural gas extraction. Right now many of us are fighting against a proposal to barge radioactive fracking waste along the Ohio River, as well as, in the larger scheme, the potential for increased fracking to turn our region into the next Cancer Alley.

Natural gas is neither a “clean” fossil fuel (it releases huge quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas which can be up to 120 times worse than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere), nor is it safe.

Not even a week after giving my testimony, a massive natural gas explosion tore through Baltimore, Maryland, leaving one woman dead, seven individuals in serious condition, and all but annihilating three homes.

Natural gas is as dangerous as it is unsustainable, and it should not even be included in the same sentence with the words “clean energy.” I urge the public to reject the Combined Heat and Power Facility being considered at OSU and for the PUCO to hold additional hearings on this matter once OSU students have returned to campus and can effectively make their voices heard.