Ohio Governor Leading With Drilling Taxes

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Ohio Governor John Kasich, a republican, is proposing changes to how the state regulate and taxes the oil and natural-gas drilling industry. He is seeking a balance between regulations that protect the environment without stifling investments and new jobs. To campaign this move, he states this as a goal of “leading the nation with a comprehensive energy strategy.”

Ohio is among some of the states that are balancing with the costs verses benefits of hydraulic fracturing. This procedure, also known as fracking, aids the drilling process by injecting water, sand, and chemicals underground at high pressure. There is much contention between environmental groups and the industry as to the safety of this method.

Kasich’s plans include “cradle to grave” disclosure of fracking wells. This would give transparence to the types of chemical, volumes, and concentration utilized during the entire lifetime of the well. In addition, standards would be updated on well construction, new regulations for natural-gas gathering lines, and finally higher tax rates for the drillers.

Drillers would pay a severance tax as high as 4 percent having an anticipated projected generation $1 billion by 2016 aiding in the reduction of income taxes paid by individuals and small businesses. Oil and gas companies face an upfront fee of $25,000 per well to local governments to offset  impacts from drilling, and then get the money back over time, according to the governor’s office.

Legislative approval is still required for about half of this plan, to include Governor Kasich, Ohio Taxes proposal. The goal is have approval come as quickly as possible so that the rest can be completed through administrative rules, allowing all new regulations to be in place before year-end.

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