Tagged In: Mining & Drilling
Ohio Environmental Council, May 15, 2014
The Ohio Environmental Council is praising the Ohio House of Representatives for its vote today to increase funding for state oversight of oil and gas development and to speed up the plugging of abandoned, old oil and gas wells.
The House included the funding and reforms in legislation (House Bill 375) to increase the state severance tax collected on the production of oil and gas drilled in Ohio.
“This is a substantial down payment on the responsible oversight of oil and gas drilling in our state,” said Jack Shaner, Deputy Director for the Ohio Environmental Council.
“Additional inspection and enforcement and enhanced geological survey at new and existing wells and stepped up plugging of old, abandoned wells — those are the dividends this investment promises. Best of all, it will be funded by a tax increase, not on the public, but on the oil and gas industry.”
Under the bill, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would be allotted:
The bill also includes several reforms recommended by the OEC Environmental Law Center to increase the productivity, efficiency, and accountability of the ODNR’s orphan well plugging program. The bill would require the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources to:
The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
“The Ohio House made solid progress today to boost funding to muscle up Ohio’s geo survey for ground water resources and to permanently plug the thousands of orphan wells that pockmark Ohio’s landscape. Our thanks for all House members who supported the plan. We especially thank House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R-Medina), House Speaker Pro Tem Matt Huffman (R-Lima), and Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), whose personal leadership assured passage of the orphan well programs the OEC recommended,” said Shaner.