Today, we launch a three day forum on the future of fracking. There are few issues quite as important in Ohio right now. To my mind, this is really about whether Ohio will develop this resource as a boon to the economy and the population or give us the kind of boom and bust cycle we probably don't need. 

You might have missed our appearance on WKYC's Between the Lines. We're hopeful that Jerry James (who joined us on the air) or others from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association will join us in the forum, as well. They seem to have lawmakers' ears. It seems like it would be a good thing if you had theirs.

Here's the first question: Different stakeholders have very different concerns about how development of Ohio's shale resources will proceed. What are the concerns that are particular to your stakeholder group? And what are concerns you have that you believe are shared by the broader community?

And in addition to that one, I plan to ask about:

How a commitment to sustainability and environmental protection can influence the industry's growth;

What kind of staffing levels at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would be adequate to regulate the industry;

What kind of taxing level would be reasonable to all sides;

and a few other questions, for sure. But the point of all this is to let you ask your questions of the people who can answer them and who can influence the the actual way forward. 

So, please, join the conversation. If you feel like you need to learn more before you weigh in, here are a few places to start. This is  an important conversation to have and an important one to have you be a part of.

photo: Ohio EPA

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