Updated Fri, Apr 20, 2012 4:26 pm
The Ohio University board of trustees authorized the university president today to enter into mineral rights agreements.
The resolution gives OU President Roderick McDavis permission to sign agreements pending final approval by the board, so long as the contracts are "determined to be in the best interests of the university."
The action follows a report by the Ad Hoc Mineral Rights Committee about hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas on university-owned land.
It also follows passage of Ohio House Bill 133, which overhauled the process for leasing state-owned lands for oil and gas development.
The committee strongly suggested that OU refrain from engaging in leasing activity on five of its six campuses until more is understood about the long-term effects of fracking.
An exception was made for the Eastern campus, where drilling offers are pending, for the purpose of including environmental safeguards.