The action taken by Niles City Council in passing the "community bill of rights" is as unnecessary as it is disappointing.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources maintains the "sole and exclusive" legal authority to regulate oil and natural gas drilling in Ohio. This not only means that the "community bill of rights" has no legal effect, but also that it could subject the city and its taxpayers to costly litigation. Having state regulatory oversight ensures expert enforcement and insight, which has proven to be effective in Ohio.
What is most disappointing is the message this sends about investment in Ohio and the region. The oil and natural gas industry has created thousands of jobs and supports businesses throughout the state. The industry is bringing opportunity to the region and throughout Ohio. Niles is poised to capitalize on the growth the industry is providing. Unfortunately, the "community bill of rights" is a step in the wrong direction.
Ohio is benefiting from oil and gas exploration, and with effective regulations and leadership already in place, Niles should review the benefits before dismissing the industry.
Ohio Petroleum Council