Feature in Columbus Dispatch labels industry as "too cozy" with Ohio lawmakers

The third and final article in the Columbus Dispatch's three-part series on oil and gas development in Ohio examines the relationship between the oil and gas industry and Ohio lawmakers/regulators. Governor Kasich, who early in his tenure described shale development as a “godsend for our state,” has been a vocal proponent of drilling efforts. In the article, however, critics claim that the drilling companies, such as Chesapeake Energy, have too much access to state policy makers. For example, references are made to the significant political contributions made by the oil and gas industry each year, including donations of "$238,678. . . to Kasich’s campaign." Critics also highlight the initial appointment of David Mustine, a "former oil company executive" to ODNR. Finally, citing e-mails between Chesapeake and Ohio EPA, critics say that the oil industry has had had too much input regarding Ohio EPA's proposal to limit air pollution from shale-gas wells, a draft of which the agency released on Aug. 18.