COLUMBUS -- As the state steps up oil and natural gas exploration, Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign an executive order today placing Lake Erie off-limits to drilling.
Mr. Kasich committed himself to signing such an order during his 2010 campaign. Although drilling occurs on the Canadian side of the lake, U.S. law bans drilling on this side. Mr. Kasich's order restores Ohio's own wall to such drilling should anything happen to that federal law.
Mr. Kasich is to sign the order during Fish Ohio activities in Port Clinton.
In 2003, then-Republican Gov. Bob Taft signed such an order, but the order expired with his administration four years later.
His Democratic successor, Gov. Ted Strickland, proposed putting the ban in state law with his first budget, but the language was removed. He pledged to sign his own executive order accomplishing the same thing if federal policy toward Lake Erie drilling changed.
Ohio has since expanded drilling opportunities on public land such as state parks and recently enacted legislation to regulate the expanding practice of hydraulic fracturing, which pumps chemically treated fluids at high pressure into shale to fracture the stone and release the oil and natural gas trapped within.
Last year, another attempt was made to place a Lake Erie drilling ban into state law, this time with the bill dealing with drilling in state parks and other public land. The language was again removed.