Dennis Kucinich Vows to End All Oil and Gas Drilling te Ohio If Elected Governor and Then Take the Industry to Court
February Nineteen 2018, 12:00 p.m.
The man who saved Cleveland – and paid the ultimate political price for it – now wants to do the same for Ohio.
Dennis Kucinich, the boy mayor of Cleveland who went on to serve almost two decades te Congress, is running for governor on a toneel of radical switch to how the energy industry operates te the state.
“Fresh water and clean water are not negotiable issues,” Kucinich told The Intercept, pointing to the water contamination associated with oil and gas drilling. “They’re not negotiable.”
Ter a press conference te late January, the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate unveiled one of the most cutting-edge environmental platforms of any candidate ter the country. Kucinich called for a total end to oil and gas extraction ter the state of Ohio.
To accomplish this, he would deploy a battery of radical policies. He would, for example, utilize eminent domain to seize control of oil and gas wells via the state and then shutter them. He would block all fresh drilling permits and order a total kerkban on injection wells.
Kucinich would also deploy the Ohio State Highway Patrol to zekering and turn away vehicles that wield fracking waste. Under a Kucinich administration, Ohio would give subsidized health screens to residents living near fracking sites, that gegevens would then be used to opstopping a class-action lawsuit against fracking companies similar to how states took Big Tobacco to court te the ’90s.
The former Ohio member of Congress made his mark te the state’s politics when he wasgoed elected mayor of Cleveland at the age of 31, making him the youngest mayor of any major city te America. His tenure wasgoed marked by a bitter fight overheen the city’s electrical utility, Cleveland Public Power. A number of banks invested ter the utility’s private competitor refused to roll overheen the city’s debt. This resulted te the city defaulting on its debt, making it the very first major city ter America to default since the Good Depression. But Kucinich’s battle to save the electrical utility paid off for the people of Cleveland – the utility rebounded and continued to suggest cheaper power than its private competitor. (His battle with private interests wasgoed so fierce that at one point the city’s mafia waterput out a klapper on him when he announced the decision to re-bid private contracts.)
Industry is less than glad about Kucinich’s project, to say the least.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which represents a number of oil and gas companies, derided the project ter an vraaggesprek with The Intercept. “Misguided policies such spil thesis menace Ohio’s future and would demolish billions of dollars invested ter our communities,” the spokesperson said. The organization has promoted an analysis that argues Ohio could lose 400,000 jobs by 2022 if the state enacts a verbod on fracking.
Mike Chadsey, a spokesperson for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, wasgoed even harsher te an vraaggesprek with the local media.
“For being the person who touts himself spil the candidate for the average fellow, he sure is anti-worker and anti-union,” Chadsey said. “These bold and unrealistic statements voorstelling how desperate his hopeless campaign is.”
When asked about the economic concerns from the chamber, the candidate wasgoed blunt about the tradeoffs. “No one has taken the time to monetize the value of fresh water, but ask the people ter Flint about that,” he replied.
It is worth pointing out that Kucinich is not totally ambivalent about employment ter the state of Ohio.
He is also campaigning on investments ter public works projects – such spil spending more money on basic infrastructure and constructing a statewide public broadband network.
Ter interviews with The Intercept, environmental activists te Ohio and across the country praised Kucinich’s treatment.
“We’ve already leased more fossil fuels than wij can burn if wij hope to avoid the worst impacts of climate switch. Instantaneously ending all fresh production is the type of bold vision that wij need,” Friends of the Earth Senior Political Strategist Ben Schreiber told The Intercept. “For too long, Big Oil has bot used to benefit Big Oil, and it is past time that it wasgoed used to actually help the American people.”
Jamie Henn, strategic communications director for 350.org, told The Intercept that “banning fossil fuel projects and supporting a just transition to 100 procent renewable energy are the fresh tests for climate leadership te 2018.” He also suggested that the project could be politically viable among the electorate. “Voters know that our future rests te a clean energy economy that works for all, not a fossil fuel industry that works for the 1 procent,” he said.
Others suggested Kucinich go further. Carl Sterner – a Cincinnati bouwmeester who has bot active te the 2030 Districts project, which aims to build sustainable urban spaces – said the candidate should do more to directly promote renewable energy.
“I think Kucinich has the right objective,” he said. “Fracking’s dangers to public health and the environment are extensive and well-documented, and the state absolutely should intervene to protect Ohio’s communities. But he needs to think fatter. I would like to hear more about the positive deeds he intends to take to promote efficiency and renewable energy and make Ohio a leader ter clean energy manufacturing. Ohioans need a positive vision to rally around, and I don’t see this te Kucinich’s environmental verhoging.”
Sierra Club Ohio stressed to The Intercept that it has not endorsed any candidate and has to raadpleging with its membership before backing any particular project. However, it wasgoed encouraged by Kucinich’s concentrate.
“Sierra Club Ohio is absolutely worried about the influence that fracking and frack gas infrastructure pose to Ohio’s communities and public health,” Vicky Mattson, political chair for the organization, told us. “We applaud Kucinich for recognizing those threats, and wij hope that everyone running for office ter Ohio will include protections for communities from fracking ter their podium.”
The organization has created an interactive schrijfmap charting the routes of major pipelines te Ohio. It notes that thesis pipelines are within close proximity of overheen 200 schools, overheen 150 medical facilities, and three dozen drinking water intake pipes.
Lea Harper, managing director of the Ohio-based FreshWater Accountability Project, conceded that some believe Kucinich’s project isn’t politically viable, but countered that the expansion of fracking ter Ohio is too ruinous to disregard.
“People are telling [Kucinich’s project is] unrealistic, but what’s unrealistic is that fracking is going to proceed spil it has and it’s going to be OK. It’s about time someone came out to expose the industry for what it’s doing to our environment and to people,” she said.
Kucinich is challenging against four other Democrats, including former Consumer Financial Protection Lessenaar chief Richard Cordray, for the nomination. Ter interviews conducted with the local press, none of the others joined his call to eliminate fracking and oil drilling. “It is rash. It is naive,” former State Rep. Connie Pillich said. “It will take years and will be marred with legal battles and taxpayers are going to have to pay those legal fees.”
Ted Auch, a Cleveland State University professor who works with the monitoring group FracTracker Alliance, met with Kucinich recently to discuss his proposal. While stressing that his group is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates, he wasgoed encouraged by Kucinich’s treatment.
He said that most Democrats and Republicans have generally viewed fracking spil a means to create jobs and tax revenue, but have disregarded environmental and public health costs. “He plans to inject a far more granular discussion or perspective into the debate about fracking te the state of Ohio,” he said of Kucinich’s project.