Ohioans take a stand against fracking

by Kate Melges

June 18, 2012

Something big happened in Ohio yesterday. After four days of movement building, networking and preparation we shook Columbus with the biggest action against fracking Ohio has ever seen, Don’t Frack Ohio.

Taking our message to the sky with a wind powered banner

1,000 strong, we took over the statehouse and passed a peoples resolution to end fracking. We the people have come together to put and end to fracking for a healthy and sustainable future.

Ohio is the latest of many states coming under attack from the natural gas industry. Gov. Kasich has received $350,000 from the industry making it much easier for them to pump chemicals into the ground destroying our land, polluting our air and poisoning our water. Last week Gov Kasich signed SB 315 turning one of the worst fracking bills in America into law.

Through out the we weekend heard from 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Gasland Director Josh Fox, Mary-Clare Reitz from Ohio Alliance for People and the Environment and many other local leaders. Of all the stories I heard this weekend Jamie Fredericks hit me the hardest.

Jamie lives near Youngstown, Ohio in a small rural town. Following an alarming set of health problems that put her on the threshold of death, she finally figured out what the core of her problem was — contaminated well water. Her neighbor signed a contract with a gas company shortly before she moved into the home. A water test revealed that Jaime’s well water was contaminated with chemicals associated with drilling, things like barium and strontium.

If they would have installed solar panels and wind turbines near outside my home instead of drilling rigs I would not have gotten sick and would be called mom now Jamie Frederick.

Words cannot express how moved, inspired and hopeful I am from the weekend. It was amazing to see people from all over Ohio and neighboring states of all ages come together to fight for our right to clean air, clean water and our right to say NO to fracking. Ohioans have risen up and found their voice. The fight against fossil fuels has not been an easy one but now more than ever, I am confident that we will win.

Kate Melges

By Kate Melges

Kate Melges is an oceans campaigner based in Seattle. She leads Greenpeace’s Ocean Plastics work. Kate’s focus is ending the flow of plastic pollution into the ocean.

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