Look Before You Lease

The Issue

Many Ohioans are aware of the interest to expand oil and gas development in the state. Rural Landowners are being approached about leasing their mineral rights for development. Many communities are increasingly concerned that Appalachia will again be exploited for its natural resources at the expense of the land, people, and long term sustainable economic development. There is an immense amount of pressure on the landowner to sign a lease.

Overview of our work

In January of 2011, The Look before you Lease (LB4UL) group began looking at oil and gas issues facing landowners in Ohio, particularly around newer technologies such as horizontal hydraulic fracturing or “hydrofracking” and private landowner leases. Rural Action, Ohio State University Extension in Athens County, Athens County Farm Bureau, and Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) are the working organizations of the LB4UL group. All four organizations have a history of working with landowners in Appalachian Ohio.

The LB4UL group recognizes that additional shale development in Ohio is likely to play an important role in our states energy portfolio as shale gas now represents 30% of natural gas used in the United States. With this recognition we caution that this development does not happen at the expense of smart and protective policies for the citizens of Ohio. We also caution that development does not happen at the expense of our most precious natural resource, water. Our goal is assist the landowners by to providing enough education, resource, and guidance to make them feel comfortable with their decision. We recognize that each landowner is unique and that our effort is not a substitute for legal counsel.

The LB4UL Website

This site is a shared, non-partisan site that resulted from diverse groups talking about their questions and concerns for the new wave of oil and gas exploration coming into Ohio. These groups decided they wanted a place to learn and share more about oil and gas lease options, regulations, policy, science and technology, impacts, and many more issues around this activity.

To that end, what you will find here is a wide range of perspectives, information, and resources. The participating groups come from different backgrounds and have different levels of engagement on this issue.

Please be sure to “subscribe” for e-mail updates on our site. This site is hosted independently from Rural Action’s website.

Click here to visit the Look Before You Lease site