Ohio Counties Benefit from Oil and Gas Lease Sales

by Elizabeth Alford on May 21, 2017

Ohio counties are reaping the benefits from the controversial sale of oil and gas leasing rights.

Related: Anti-fracking campaigns in Wayne National Forest

At the end of 2016, the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auctioned off acreage in the Wayne National Forest for future gas exploration and production. The $1.7 million deal included more than 700 acres sold to 22 companies.

The sale came after many months of protests and debate pitting environmentalists against mineral rights owners in the state. After conducting numerous environmental impact studies, the BLM determined there would be no significant impact to the forest.

The state of Ohio received $425,000 form the sale and plans to distribute a share to each county according to the amount of acreage sold.

“The money goes to the county to be divided. The school district gets 68 percent, and the rest is to be divided between the townships, local governments and levies. This is only initial sales, not royalties.” – Commissioner Mick Schumacher, Monroe County

The BLM plans to continue these sales with many believing that the proceeds will benefit landowners as well as low-income families in the Appalachian foothills.

A total of 38,000 acres of national forest land is potentially available for oil and gas drilling through these federal auctions.

The Bureau has tentatively scheduled the next auction for June 22.

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