Protect Geauga Parks opposes lines 21239 through 21245 in Ohio House Bill 49 (the State Budget Bill) and asks you to take action to see that it is removed when the bill goes to the Ohio Senate.

This last minute addition to the State Budget Bill is a rehash of Ohio House Bill 8 that was rejected in the past. If allowed to become law, it would streamline the process for aggregating properties for the purpose of drilling for oil and gas.

This means drillers or property owners who want to drill on their property but don’t have enough land could force county and other local park districts to allow drilling in and under their parks.

Protect Geauga Parks opposes this legislation. It is our mission to promote, support and actively campaign for Conservation, Preservation and Protection of nature in Geauga County parks.

As taxpaying citizens, we own our public park lands and pay for the environmental value that parks provide to us through the tax levies that we, as voters, have passed. This addition to the Budget bill will take control of our county and local parks away from the citizens and give it to oil and gas companies.

It is our right, as citizens, to determine the use of our park lands and to protect the natural resources within the parks. These rights should not be usurped by the oil and gas industry or by the desires of neighboring property owners.

We urge Ohio legislators to treat all park lands equally whether state or local, to fulfill their obligation to taxpayers who have voted to preserve, conserve and protect park lands, and to keep all parks safe for the public who depend upon them.

Kathryn Hanratty
President, Protect Geauga Parks

Categories: Commentary

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