Ohio petroleum: Keep regulations safe, 'agile'

JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio petroleum producers are pushing back against a call by the state attorney general to increase environmental penalties and chemical reporting requirements on the industry.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine says the changes would bring Ohio in line with other states and allow effective enforcement against violators.

Terry Fleming, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, opposes the idea of pursuing stiffer regulations. He says it seems to be at odds with desires of state policymakers to reap the benefits of tens of thousands of prospective good-paying jobs by exploiting Ohio's newly accessible shale resources.

Fleming said Ohio's hydraulic fracturing regulatory program received high marks for effectiveness in a 2010 review. He said no hazardous chemical used in fracking is hidden from public view.