COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new law signed by Gov. Mike DeWine designates natural gas as green energy.
Environmental experts have said that with DeWine signing HB 507, it paves the way to fast track the drilling of oil and gas in state parks.
“When natural gas is mined from the ground, it can leak into the atmosphere and methane admissions from natural gas wells, pipelines and use of natural gas together are the second largest source of climate warming in the United States," said Amy Townsend-Small, University of Cincinnati professor of environmental studies.
In a statement, DeWine said "As my administration has analyzed the bill, I believe the amendments in HB 507 do not fundamentally change the criteria and processes established by the Ohio General Assembly in 2011 that first established the policy of leasing mineral rights under state parks and lands."
Nolan Rutschilling, the Ohio Environmental Council managing director of energy policy, doesn't support the new law. In his view, natural gas is not an environmentally-friendly fuel.
“It's a fossil fuel now,” said Rutschilling. “Natural gas does produce less emissions than coal, but it's still a major contributor to our state's greenhouse gas emissions.”
Rutschilling and his team hope to continue to encourage local governments to make purchase decisions regarding power resources, that result in a cleaner environment.