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BLOG: Strickland and Kasich: No drilling for gas in Lake Erie

Tom Jackson • Oct 26, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Republican John Kasich and Democrat Ted Strickland aren't agreeing on many issues, but both are on the record opposing drilling in Lake Erie for natural gas.

Democrats have tried to raise the issue  in the waning days of the campaign by producing letters written by Kasich more than 30 years ago, in the latter part of the Jimmy Carter administration, when Kasich was a state senator.

In a Sept. 11, 1979, letter to a constituent, Kasich wrote, "I definitely support drilling for natural gas in Lake Erie, decontrol of Ohio's oil and gas, and the easing of EPA standards to permit the burning of Ohio coal." Similar sentiments are expressed in another letter.

Kasich's spokesman, Rob Nichols, said Kasich supports the current federal ban on drilling on Lake Erie. Kasich would issue an executive order if it were necessary, Nichols said.

The fact that Democrats are digging up letters more than 30 decades old illustrates their desperation as Strickland trails in the polls, Nichols contended.

"They're digging up junk and throwing it out there," he said.

Strickland issued a statement emphasizing that he's always opposed drilling in Lake Erie.

"Even as we promote Ohio’s growing energy industries, we must protect our greatest natural resource, Lake Erie. Congressman Kasich's  stance on drilling in Lake Erie is beyond reckless and would be disastrous for the tourism and fishing industries built around the Great Lakes," the governor said.

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