Ohio could join the ranks of cash-strapped states that have turned to oil and natural gas drilling on state lands as a means to replenish recession-wracked coffers. Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish, a Democrat, said recently that lawmakers may consider allowing drilling in state parks as long as it does not harm the environment, the Associated Press reported. A study committee recently estimated drilling on state lands could generate $3 million or more in revenue for the state. Earlier this week Republican members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unveiled a plan to further tap into prolific Marcellus Shale deposits by expanding natural gas drilling to 390,000 acres of state forest land over the next three years -- a proposal one conservation group quickly labeled "irresponsible" (see Daily GPI, March 25).
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