Big Muskie, once among the largest draglines ever built, is now a tourist attraction along I-77. Smaller versions of this sort of equipment will be used to strip-mine state park land.
The talk of the town when alarming court decisions come down turns inevitably toward precedent, and this one should be tripping emergency sensors the state over.
This week, the Ohio Supreme Court approved
via a 6-1 vote strip-mining practices in a 651-acre section of the Brush Creek Wildlife Area, which is owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The ruling is nestled in a longstanding contract dispute from 1944, which reserves mineral rights for the sellers of the land (Ronald Snyder and Steven Neeley), as well as "reasonable surface right privilege." A common pleas court shot down the argument that that privilege may refer to strip-mining
, and the Ohio Supreme Court overruled that.
The ODNR, according to spokesperson Bethany McCorkle, will be digging into all other land deeds to make sure vague references like the above mineral rights description don't show up elsewhere.
Semi-relatedly, remember that Gov. John Kasich signed into law
SB 310, which freezes Ohio's renewable energy standards this year.