Kasich Says He Wants Fracking Rules In Place To Protect The Environment

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Ohio's governor says the state needs to have regulations in place to protect the environment while moving forward with hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking was one of many topics Republican John Kasich talked about during his hour and a half long State of the State speech in Steubenville.

Kasich says we have to make sure there are rules in place that don't allow the oil and gas drilling technique to damage Ohio while the industry develops in the state.

"You cannot degrade the environment at the same time you are producing this industry," says Kasich. "We can't have some yahoo come into this state and damage this whole industry because they're irresponsible." 

"But, we cannot let our fears outweigh the potential," says Kasich. 

The moment Kasich started talking about fracking, protestors started yelling and chanting.

Kasich also talked about several other issues.  One of those was higher education.

Kasich says graduation rates need to increase.

"The emphasis shouldn't be on enrollment, it ought to be on graduation," says Kasich.

Kasich says that universities also need to take their research into the private sector.

"It's not good enough to do research if you don't commercialize and create jobs," says Kasich. 

Kasich also talked about societal problems in Ohio that have to be dealt with.

"We have 1,000 Ohio children, the average age 13 years of age, they're in the slave trade," says Kasich. "It's hard for me to even think about, my girls our 12.  Can you imagine somebody snatching your daughter and somebody forcing them into prostitution?" 

"You know we have the war on drugs, we need to stop the slave trade in Ohio," says Kasich.

Kasich took the State of the State speech out of Columbus for the first time this year to Wells Academy.

"I love the people of Steubenville," says Kasich. "The children at Wells Academy are a reflection of your excellence."

"Some people are speculating why would he come to Steubenville," says Kasich. "One, Wells Academy….They're the number one performing school in Ohio."

Kasich also talked about how Ohio's job market has recovered since his State of the State speech last year.

"A year ago, Ohio ranked 48th in job creation, we trailed only Michigan and California in lost jobs," says Kasich. "We lost 600,000 in the last 10 years, 600,000 jobs gone."

"Ohio is the number one job creator in the midwest today as we sit here, number one," says Kasich. "We're the number nine job creator in america, from 48 to nine in one year!"

He says another success story in his first year in office is dealing with Ohio's budget deficit.

"Eight billion in the hole, eight billion in the hole, the largest deficit in the history of Ohio," says Kasich. "I'll tell you what we did, we just looked at the problems honestly."

"In six months, we eliminated an eight billion dollar budget shortfall without a tax increase," says Kasich.

The prescription drug problem in Ohio, specifically in Southeast Ohio, was also talked about during the speech.

"We closed all those pill mills down in Scioto County.. made a difference didn't it? And we're cracking down on those doctors who are just not doing their job," says Kasich. "The war on drugs is something that you've got to pay attention to because it is wrecking our communities."

About 100 demonstrators gathered outside the school where the speech was held.