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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Activists rally over pending fracking on Ohio's state lands

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Thursday, October 19, 2023   

A governor-appointed commission could begin approving fracking leases on Ohio's state lands as early as next month.

Jenny Morgan a volunteer for the group Save Ohio Parks who will be rallying experts and environmental activists in Columbus Oct. 27, said fracking and related infrastructure are linked to increased childhood cancers, fertility and hormone disruption and a host of other negative health effects.

"Gas and oil drilling, hydrofracking is anything but (safe)," Morgan contended. "The waste stream is radioactive waste that has to be re-injected, has to be carted away by trucks. It's light pollution, it's noise pollution, it's air pollution."

Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 507 into law this year, which mandates the state approve permits for oil and gas leasing on state-owned land. The fracking industry and other supporters of the legislation argued expanding fracking to state lands will benefit communities economically and keep energy costs affordable.

Morgan pointed to polls in recent years showing most residents are either strongly opposed, somewhat opposed, or unsure about fracking as a means of energy production in their state.

"We're going to make our voices heard," Morgan asserted. "Even though they have told us that our voices don't matter and shown us that our voices don't matter, we're still going to stand up and insist that this not happen."

According to the Yale School of the Environment, health effects increasingly linked to living near fracking include cancer, low birth weight, disruptions to the endocrine system, nose bleeds, headaches, and nausea.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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