Ohio already has some of the strongest oil and gas drilling regulations in the nation, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. But new technologies and the ongoing gas drilling boom have prompted state officials to reexamine their rules. Recommendations for new ones should be in place early next year.
As officials in other states could have warned their counterparts in Ohio, that sets up a confrontation between environmentalists and the drilling industry. It already has begun in Ohio, with the issue of hydraulic fracturing of wells at the dispute's center.
Reasonable concerns, such as how large amounts of fluid used in "fracking" will be disposed of, have been raised. So have ridiculous ones, such as a claim "fracking" causes earthquakes.
It is possible for the state to have regulations that safeguard the public while keeping Ohio in a competitive position to enjoy the drilling boom's benefits. That, not a futile attempt to please all parties involved, should be state officials' goal.