One of the Democrats running for Governor is calling for an end to oil and gas drilling in Ohio. While Dennis Kucinich’s four primary opponents aren’t embracing that idea, they agree that more needs to be done to protect the environment.
Kucinich, a former U.S. Congressman and Cleveland Mayor, says he wants to use eminent domain to shut down fracking wells and initiate a class action lawsuit to make fracking companies pay for damage to the environment.
“Those who have poisoned Ohio’s people and the land will be made to pay,” Kucinich said.
Former state Rep. Connie Pillich disagrees with Kucinich’s approach.
“It is rash. It is naïve,” she said. “It will take years and will be marred with legal battles and taxpayers are going to have to pay those legal fees.”
Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill also takes issue with Kucinich’s suggestion.
“Ending fracking is not the right answer and initiating another class action lawsuit is clearly not the right answer,” he said.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni says fracking is important to parts of Ohio, but believes the state needs to be a better watchdog.
“You put a lot of emphasis on making sure you have people on the ground at ODNR and Ohio EPA,” he said.
And former Consumer Financial Bureau director Richard Cordray agrees strict enforcement is key.
“As you know, when I was Ohio Attorney General, I prosecuted polluters who did not engage in responsible practices,” he said.
Republicans dominate Ohio’s legislature, so if a Democrat is elected as governor, they’d have to work with conservatives who embrace fracking to make big changes.