VIENNA, Ohio - Trumbull County leaders got a chance to ask questions to leaders of BP's Ohio Program at an informal meet and greet in Vienna.
"Obviously we're going to have some answers after it regarding safety and some of the other issues that concern our citizens- safe water and the like," said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin. "It's really to gather information to be more informed about the process from start to finish."
BP officials are in town for a lease signing event with the nearly 3,000 Trumbull County landowners who recently agreed to lease about 84,000 acres to the company for drilling.
"It was really just an opportunity to meet with the local officials and other business community leaders, to basically meet them and have them learn about us and for us to learn about them," said BP Ohio Program Manager Bruce Abbuhl.
But outside the Squaw Creek Country Club where the private meeting was held, a handful of drilling protesters carried signs that read "From the Gulf to the lake, British Rule is a mistake!" and "You can't drink $$."
"We really don't like what they've done in the Gulf of Mexico," said Niles resident John Williams. "They're coming to Trumbull County to take care of 84,000 acres here."
At one point several protesters defied police and walked into the country club where they were met by a BP spokesperson who spoke with them for several minutes.
Senator Capri Cafaro helped diffuse the situation by offering to share the protesters' information with her colleagues.
"I think residents themselves need to show up to hold politicians and industry accountable while these meetings are taking place," said Jonathan Sidney of Cleveland.
BP is the largest energy investor in the U.S. The company will be meeting with the Trumbull landowners to sign leases throughout the week.