Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Drill Baby Drill
I've written an in-depth feature for this week's Scene: Drill Baby Drill.
I've previously noted on these pages that I worked for BP for years and that my husband is a pipeline operator. I put gas in my car and heat my home with natural gas. Most of us do; and many of us take gas and oil for granted. That changes when an oil derrick is erected next to your house.
Ohio is home to a great deal of oil and gas drilling. There were some 64,000 wells operating in Ohio in 2008. Courtesy of a practice known as "urban drilling" the wells are getting closer and closer and closer to the people--particularly where I live. The Cuyahoga Valley area has long been known for its rich pockets of oil and gas.
My family has lived in and around the Cuyahoga Valley for six generations. My great grandfather's farmland is now part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, so I feel a certain way about this place, from the natural habitats to the industrial underbelly of the city. After all, Dad was a machinist. I grew up surrounded by milling machines and lathes. But the wells? The wells are new.
When you purchase an older home next to an asphalt plant, you know what you're getting into; but when you purchase a brand new home in a suburban neighborhood and someone plops a tank battery and a wellhead next to it, that's a different story. You may hate it; or you may love it--particularly if you're reaping monthly royalties from that hole in the earth.
I urge every Ohioan to read my feature and the companion blog. The same goes for those in other states that condone urban drilling. I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on this topic. You can comment here or on the Scene pages (registration is a breeze), or you may email my editor Frank Lewis.