Does God want fracking in Ohio?

Here in Minnesota, we’ve heard the argument that coal was placed in the earth by God for us to use. In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich, at his energy summit this week, is the latest to proclaim the divine providence of fossil fuel resources.

In an address at the summit at Ohio State University, Gov. Kasich enthusiastically describes the economic potential of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, exploration of which Chesapeake Energy estimates could create more than 200,000 jobs over four years:

“The Lord may have placed deposits in the eastern part of this state … that can bring great prosperity to people who don’t have much.”

The governor goes on to point out that one out of every four children in Ohio lives in poverty, and offers an image of a child shivering at a school bus stop in a “paper thin coat.” Exploration of the shale gas reserves “can lift people and lift families and provide jobs,” and “that in and of itself is worth it.”

While some environmentalists oppose hydraulic fracturing at all cost, the fact is, we need natural gas, at least for the short-term. If it can be extracted safely, and can provide jobs for people who desperately need them, well, that’s a hard thing to argue against.

So maybe the Lord is on to something.

But what about wind and solar power? Was the sun also put in the sky by God to create job opportunities in Ohio?

“Oh, they’re all trying to get me to say we don’t need renewables … of course we need solar and of course we need wind … but we’ve got to be realistic about it,” the governor says. Solar power is fine for places like California and Nevada, he explains, but not so much for cloudy Ohio.

“But,” Kasich says, “we don’t want to shut these advanced ideas out, because you don’t know where they’re going to lead.” Many Ohioans were “born to make things,” so “why not make parts for solar and wind and geothermal, and sell them all over the world.”

Just so we’re clear, then: Energy that comes from the ground? God. Energy that comes from the sky? Not God (or at least not necessarily God).

To be fair to Gov. Kasich, this week’s summit was an effort to bring together a wide range of interests to try to forge ahead with an energy policy based on the public interest. Whether or not the effort is successful, that’s a bold undertaking that shows real leadership.

Also, it’s not my intention to criticize anyone’s religious beliefs. But mixing faith with public policy can bring up some uncomfortable question.

Mine is: How does Gov. Kasich, or anyone else for that matter, determine which naturally-occurring energy resources are part of God’s master plan, and which aren’t?

Feel free to offer up your own theories…

3 thoughts on “Does God want fracking in Ohio?

  1. Ken, I would like to see you delve into the central claim–that this will generate 200,000 jobs. North Dakota has experienced an unprecedented oil boom–recently overtaking Louisiana as #4 oil producing state–and it has produced nowhere near 200,000 jobs in that state. Since 2001, the state has added not quite 25,000 jobs to total employment. How would natural gas production in Ohio possibly produce eight times that many jobs?

  2. In my mind, God, or more specifically, the awareness of God, is in direct proportion to willingness to accept Him in one’s mind, or not. As well in the world; if we desire to see the world as what we want, we will find beliefs to support that desire, along with any attendant suffering those beliefs may attract. To me, the Perfect Peace offered by realization is God’s gift to the mind that accepts sharing His Mind as One. We may certainly use other systems to orient ones thinking, and we will choose according to the well being and happiness afforded by the outcome of those thots. We all do the best we can with the thots we have in mind.

    We must always be aware that the world we see with the body’s eyes is an illusion. I.E., we see what we want to see, each seeing a different world, according to their desire, but none of them are real. We made them up with perception and judgement, all based in a separate mind; seperate from it’s source, or rather believing so.

    If we want to believe the risk of destroying subterranian aquafirs, and perhaps triggering earthquakes, is worth having some scraps of a fuel to burn for a time, then we asume that risk. But make no mistake, it is not God that offers the illusion of the world we see outside our mind. God is in our shared, true mind, not the mind that supports a world of competition and conflict. God is not a body, and we are made in His image, so neither are we. When we assume that God is a body, we are assuming the ego is reality; the belief in a separate mind, and that God is like us, instead of developing an ability to listen to, and see truth as it is. Many bible thumping preachers skew truth to make controversy, then offer their own version of forgiveness for salvation to correct the errant view. None of that is real, or truthful. Real truth is not up for debate. It, like God, is known by it’s effects.

  3. Minnesota has a similar issue with the large untapped deposits of copper, nickel, and palladium group metals in the Iron Range region. Lots of unemployed skilled miners available there to work on that resource.