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OSU? racking study plan worthwhile

July 27, 2013
Salem News

Although federal officials recently gave hydraulic fracturing at gas and oil wells a clean bill of health, much more remains to be learned about the practice. Researchers at Ohio State University want to study a working well, but money seems to be a problem.

It is not, for a change, too little money but, strangely enough, too much.

OSU wants to open its agricultural research station in Noble County to drilling, with the provision any wells there can be monitored by university scientists. That would require leasing mineral rights to the land for commercial drilling.

Some environmentalists complain such a study would have a built-in bias - revenue from the well or wells. Should concerns about drilling be raised by the study, OSU would lose money by calling a halt to the process, critics say.

Much the same complaint has been heard about a similar plan by the University of Tennessee - and there is some validity to it.

Nevertheless, OSU should proceed with its proposal, perhaps with some safeguards. One might be to involve outside scientists, perhaps from the federal government, to be part of the research. That would provide protection against pressure from OSU officials to avoid conclusions that threaten the university's revenue.

More needs to be learned about the oil and gas drilling process. OSU should take the opportunity to study working wells.

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Too often, bad apples in professional sports are encouraged to expect their physical prowess to protect them from criminal investigations and charges. That can start as early as high school and be reinforced in college.

But if you're that type of miscreant, don't expect Ohio State University head football Coach Urban Meyer to encourage you. Meyer has the laudible attitude that there is no place on the Buckeye team for bad boys.

Just days ago, Meyer kicked his squad's premier running back, Carlos Hyde, off the team. Hyde has been named a "person of interest" in an assault on a woman at a Columbus bar.

Last summer, Meyer booted senior linebacker Storm Klein after he was accused in an altercation involving his former girlfriend. Klein was welcomed back when he was cleared of the charges.

Good for Meyer. Thoughtful OSU fans will applaud his zero tolerance policy toward misbehaving players.

Let's hope the philosophy spreads to others in college athletics.

 
 

 

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