State laws allow drilling even where owners object - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

State laws allow drilling even where owners object

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By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - In the past three years, a state board dominated by members favorable to the oil and gas industry has mostly recommended against the wishes of private landowners fighting drilling beneath their land.

State records obtained by The Associated Press through a records request show the Technical Advisory Council recommended approving 43 of 56 requests since 2009 under Ohio's mandatory pooling law. It allows drillers to defy landowners' wishes if enough neighbors agree to a well.

Opponents say the law is tantamount to seizing private property for corporate profit, even though resisting landowners are compensated.

An attorney for drillers says such laws assure drilling profits are equally shared among even nonparticipating neighbors - and they increase production by reducing the number of holes drilled.

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