A child who asked a question of the World War Zero panel was invited to join former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on stage for a picture, along with moderator Erika Alexander, former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

More than 1,000 people concerned about climate change turned out for a town hall at Otterbein University in Westerville held by an unlikely alliance of former lawmakers.

Monitoring Greenhouse Gases From Space

Jan 15, 2020
A fracking explosion in Belmont County in February 2018 created one of the worst methane leaks in U.S. history.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Section

A satellite orbiting earth revealed that a 2018 fracking explosion in Belmont County created one of the worst methane leaks in U.S. history. More methane gas leaked into the atmosphere in 20 days than all but three European countries emit in a year.

A fracking explosion in Belmont County in February 2018 created one of the worst methane leaks in U.S. history.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Section

In February 2018, an explosion at a fracking site in Belmont County, near the Ohio-West Virginia border, forced residents within a 1-mile radius to evacuate their homes for several weeks.

A study this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that the accident resulted in one of the largest methane leaks ever recorded in the U.S.

Illustration of the R.E. Burger power plant.
David Wilson / Belt Magazine

The R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant’s final day ended, appropriately enough, in a cloud of black smoke and dust. From 1944 to 2011, the plant generated power, fumes and ash in the Ohio River Valley. It was one of dozens of coal and steel plants dotting the banks of the river, which for years has ranked among the nation’s most heavily polluted.

Pumpjacks operating in the western edge of California's Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield on June 12, 2017.
Brian Melley / Associated Press

Thousands of acres of the new Jesse Owens State Park in eastern Ohio may still be drilled for oil and natural gas.

Ohio Supreme Court chambers.
Dan Konik / Ohio Public Radio

The home rule provision was added to the Ohio constitution by voters in 1912, and the struggles between local officials and state lawmakers have raged almost since then.

Fire battalion chief, Silverio Caggiano with the Youngstown Fire Department says keeping the identity of some chemicals used in fracking secret puts the public at risk.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

A new analysis by the nonprofit Partnership for Policy Integrity finds that "trade secret" chemicals were injected into gas and oil wells nearly 11,000 times in Ohio during a five-year period. 

The Ohio Health Registry, started by a physician, hopes to sign up 200 people who live near oil and gas activity.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

A dozen people are scurrying around a church basement in Youngstown, Ohio. They’re arranging tables and chairs, setting up paperwork, and hanging up signs that read “Ohio Health Registry.”

Leatra Harper started the Freshwater Accountability Project because she worried about oil and gas development harming water resources in Ohio.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

Ten years ago, the fracking industry was already booming in Pennsylvania, but people in Ohio were just starting to hear about it. Many were excited that it would help eastern Ohio's struggling rural economy. 

Patrick Hunkler and Jean Backs get drinking water for their house from spring water collected in this cistern. They are concerned that fracking could impact their water.
Julie Grant / Allegheny Front

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to energy development, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies.

Kerri Bond and Jodi Carter at the auction of property owned by Bond and mineral rights.
Brian Peshek / Allegheny Front

A decade ago, people in Ohio hadn't heard much about fracking for natural gas in the state. But since then, the ups and downs of the gas industry have literally changed the rural landscape of eastern Ohio.

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue
Flickr /

Organizers who want a fracking ban within Columbus city limits are once again leaning on City Council to get it before voters.

Simon Fraser University

The Ohio EPA is considering changes to its regulations on air quality at fracking and natural gas transmissions sites.

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County.
Ralph Wilson / AP

A new report from a D.C.-based think tank offers insight into how Ohio's economy has weathered the post-recession years compared to other Midwest states. 

The Plastic Belt

Aug 28, 2018
Ralph Wilson / AP

Natural gas production in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania exceeded total production in Texas for the first time. The region, dubbed the "Shale Crescent" and rust belt, is being considered for a new name: The plastic belt. 

Today, we consider what impact this new industry can have on the jobs sector and local environment.