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Energy bill sent to governor, but disclosure rules in it are still angering some

The legislature has passed a package that sets new regulations on oil and natural gas drillers who are rushing into Ohio to explore the state’s big Utica and Marcellus shale deposits.

Environmental groups had stayed quiet about the bill. But Jack Shaner with the Ohio Environmental Council says lawmakers caved to the drilling industry when it comes to disclosure of secret chemical recipes used in fracking.

“We went from what could have been one of the strongest disclosure laws in the nation, ending up with one of the most radical assaults on public’s right to know in the nation.”

But Terry Fleming with the Ohio Energy Resource Alliance says he’s not completely happy with the bill, and that the furor over disclosure is in some cases a smoke screen.

“There are some people who just didn’t want this legislation to pass and the chemical disclosure thing is something that they’ve all latched on to. In the end, we have the strongest chemical disclosure language in the country.”

Gov. John Kasich says in a statement of the measure – quoting here – “we’ll be better stewards of our environment because of it, and our kids and grandkids will thank us for it.”