Democrats are pushing back against former Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s call to eradicate the fossil fuel industry in a state that voted for President Donald Trump by a wide margin.
Kucinich is running for governor of Ohio on the promise that he will make energy companies pay for making hydraulic fracking a cottage industry in Ohio. His Democratic opponents are resisting the former congressman’s pitch.
“Those who have poisoned Ohio’s people and the land will be made to pay,” Kucinich told reporters earlier this month, adding that the industry will no longer “be able to hide behind the false label of proprietary to experiment with toxic chemicals and biocides and use them without traceability and responsibility for the health and environmental impacts on the state of Ohio.”
The fracking industry has provided more than $50 billion to Ohio’s economy while also generating millions in tax revenue to a state that is reeling as King Coal exits stage left. It appears Democrats are keenly aware of these facts, and they are also aware that the pro-energy president is a formidable foe in Ohio.
Kucinich’s opponents in the race are feeling the pressure to stamp down their anti-oil leanings. Former Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich, for one, opposes Kucinich’s strident message.
“It is rash. It is naïve,” Pillich said during a press conference. “It will take years and will be marred with legal battles and taxpayers are going to have to pay those legal fees.”
Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill joined in the hits. “Ending fracking is not the right answer and initiating another class action lawsuit is clearly not the right answer,” said O’Neill, who is running against Kucinich and Pillich in a state Trump won by more than eight points.
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