Ohio’s Carroll County is at the heart of the state’s ongoing oil and gas rush. In recent months, the rural county of about 30,000 people has seen massive fracking rigs go up, droves of out-of-town workers arrive and dozens of local landowners become millionaires as drilling giants such as Chesapeake Energy showed up in town.
Things are quickly changing in the small town of Carrollton, the county seat. Local advocate Paul Feezel, an organizer of with Carroll Concerned Citizens, said most local folks are “cautiously optimistic.” Feezel is an environmentalist, but he’s not necessarily against fracking – he simply wants to make sure the drilling is done with community and environmental interests in mind.
Feezel, who is still undecided when it comes to signing a drilling lease, invited Truthout to visit Carrollton and find out how the gas and oil rush can turn a small town upside down.