1. Ohio State University holds 1% of the public land in Ohio that is open to fracking.
2. The university claims it wishes to do research by receiving money from natural gas companies, which we don't want.
3. Ohio State University should set an example for other universities who are considering engaging in similarly destructive practices."
Stop the leasing of Ohio State University land from any sort of Fracking!
We, the undersigned, are saddened to learn that our beloved university, The Ohio State University, is considering profiting from the potentially toxic and destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing for shale oil. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” poses far too many known and unknown risks for our communities at this time to be a wise decision. We, as members of the Buckeye Nation at The Ohio State University, strongly encourage Ohio State to decide against leasing of any University land for the purposes of “fracking”, at least until such time as the serious environmental concerns are completely and satisfactorily addressed.
The Ohio State University is not a for-profit institution. Although we, as members of the Buckeye community, understand the University’s need to generate income, that income should be just, sustainable, environmentally sound, and result from an entirely inclusive decision-making process, not a decision made behind closed doors. The Dallas Cowboys Apparel contract, the parking garage privatization, and the recent Huntington Bank contract exemplify forms of income generation that are not entirely just, sustainable, or representative of an inclusive decision making processes.
On Friday March 9th, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed that disposing waste fluids from the fracking process in deep injection wells caused twelve earthquakes felt throughout the Youngstown region of Northeast Ohio. These fluids contain over 650 proprietary chemical compounds that are introduced into the environment by fracking and are highly toxic to people, livestock, and wildlife. They are the principal reason that we believe Ohio State should not support this industry. It is hypocritical for an institution that prides itself on its state-of-the-art medical center to contribute to a process that is literally poisoning thousands of Ohioans.
The purported economic benefits generated by fracking represent a short-term payoff, and are not an ongoing source of income. The profits from such a payoff will not cover the eventual costly of cleaning up contaminated water and soil sources, loss of crops and livestock, health costs from affected residents, and potential earthquake damage. Further, according to the Keystone Research Center, the number of jobs created by fracking is also vastly overstated – by more than 2,470 percent. Moreover, Cornell University found that, due to the loss of jobs in agriculture and tourism, there were more jobs lost than created. In short, fracking results in huge profits for energy companies and enormous losses to communities.
We are honored to attend a university that has proudly signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). However, natural gas and shale-oil are still dirty fossil fuels that contribute to atmospheric carbon levels. Given the expected damage to our global climate, groundwater supply, economy, and public health, support for this industry is not consistent with the values signified our commitment to the ACUPCC.
Furthermore, we encourage the great community of The Ohio State University to lead opposition to this practice in any community. While other universities are considering the same and similar proposals, Ohio State has the unique opportunity to publicly demonstrate its values that include: “acting with integrity and personal accountability”, “leadership”, “openness and trust”, “diversity in people and ideas”, and “empathy and compassion”.
As educated and aware young people with grave concerns for our environmental future, we yearn to look to Ohio State University as a leader and a teacher of best practices for citizenship and thoughtful, responsible action. If not our own university, who else can we turn to? What we know about the environmental price of fracking terrifies us. We are asking the University to stand up as a leading institution against the rush to fracking in any community.
The fracking industry is prevents sound scientific research on the true risks of these procedures as long as they keep their toxic cocktail formula under lock and key. An academic institution should not support such a block on scientific research. A true environmental leader would not support such a clear violation of environmental impact assessments. The deep, pressurized injection of 650+ chemicals into the earth without a systematic, scientific, long term, ongoing, and openly honest assessment of unintended consequences, and an incorporation of that information into all levels of decision making, does not represent integrity, dignity, and respect for the earth and our community. Endangering the public water supply does not help the state of Ohio. As members of The Ohio State University community, we want to make our perspective clear: The Ohio State University should protect our world and us by not fracking on University property. .