Listening Project Seeks Input on Community Impacts of Shale Gas Boom

CARROLLTON, OHIO: Caitlin Johnson, Organizer with Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE) – a campaign of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) – will speak at Carroll Concerned Citizens’ February 6 meeting.

Johnson is seeking input for CURE’s shale-focused “listening project” in Carroll County. Listening projects are citizen driven interviews of friends, family and neighbors to collect their experiences – good, bad or neutral – during the shale boom.

“Unconventional shale gas drilling is very controversial and many times is reduced to a black or white argument,” Johnson said. “When we get out there and talk to people, I think we will find there is actually a lot of gray. It's in that gray area that we will hope to find solutions to some problems. But we can't do that without knowing what people are actually facing. That's why it's crucial for neighbors to talk to neighbors.”

CURE’s goal is to train 10-15 local volunteers to help reach a target of 500 Carroll County citizens with a short seven question interview. The responses to the questions – which will be kept anonymous – are to be complied later this summer and shared through a county-wide public meeting.

“We're hoping the listening project will build upon community surveys done in the late 1990’s focused on why people live in Carroll County, their views of where the County is headed and the balance between rural character and shale gas industry growth.” Johnson said. “Perhaps the project will also illuminate other issues not yet considered by state and local officials.”

The meeting will start at 7:00pm at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave. Carrollton. It is free and open to the public.

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