Ohio State Representative candidate weighs in on proposed Falcon Pipeline
HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio —
A day after the Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on the Shell Corporation's proposed Falcon Pipeline, a Republican candidate for state representative in Ohio is weighing in.
On the horizon is a new school in the Harrison Hills School District. Also on the horizon, the potential to make Harrison County an energy hub for the Ohio Valley.
Wednesday night, a hearing from the EPA on the Falcon Pipeline. In the audience, a teacher who is running for state representative.
Don Jones is an agricultural teacher and Republican candidate for the 95th district. Jones listened as nearly a dozen gave comments to the EPA on the Falcon Ethane Pipeline.
"I was probably disheartened by the lack of local - we only had a few local people - and a lot of those individuals who did speak were not from our area,” Jones said.
The hearing drew outside activists and industry professionals, but few Cadiz residents and other neighbors around Harrison County.
Jones deals and sells farming equipment, and said those who deal with soil and water issues know the risks about a pipeline in their backyards. He said main issues with pipelines are changes to topography and soil disruption, not contamination of soil or water.
"We've seen some slips in some areas where pipelines have been installed where some ground has slipped back in toward waterways, and it's a concern and I think it needs to be addressed, but we've been dealing with pipelines for years in this area,” Jones said. “And I think we just need to be vigilant and keep after the companies that install the pipelines and make sure they do what they're supposed to."
The advent of so much natural gas production has those in the coal industry worried. The school district was the last public entity to sign off on the 15-year tax abatement plan for the proposed natural gas plant, and the opening of that plant could erode coal mining jobs.
Jones said Ohio needs to take a look at ways to develop a comprehensive energy plan to incorporate oil, gas and coal into a balanced energy grid.
"We have to do better than what we're doing right now,” he said. “We are importing 20 percent of our electricity into the state of Ohio, and not long ago, we were exporting and selling excess energy that we were generating. We need to do a better job."
NEWS9 will be following the ongoing energy and political developments.