Pants on Fire: Josh Mandel says Sherrod Brown has sided with Washington bureaucrats and fringe extremists on fracking

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Pants on Fire: Josh Mandel says Sherrod Brown has sided with Washington bureaucrats and fringe extremists on fracking

Politifact Ohio – Note to Athens, Ohio, residents: Your mayor and other elected officials in your part of Ohio are fringe extremists.

You may disagree with that statement, but then, you probably support the Washington bureaucrats who halted leasing in the Wayne National Forest for fracking. What’s that? It wasn’t a Washington bureaucrat who made that decision but, rather, a forester in Ohio?

Well, as Emily Litella used to say on Saturday Night Live: Never mind.

With apologies to the late Gilda Radner, these claims about fringe elements and Washington bureaucrats owe themselves to Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer. Mandel, a Republican now running for U.S. Senate, criticized incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, after Brown told Ohio Public Radio on Nov. 28 that he supports a local decision to remove 3,302 acres of national forest in southeast Ohio from a federal auction of land for oil and gas exploration.

The land is in a part of the state where hydraulic fracking could yield big dividends, although there are a lot of uncertainties. Fracking is shorthand for fracturing, and it involves drilling deep into the ground and injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure to fracture the shale and release the natural gas or oil trapped there. Geologists and energy industry officials say a potential windfall of gas lies in the Utica shale formation, and to a lesser extent the Marcellus shale, beneath eastern Ohio.

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