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Ohio Utica Shale

Ohio trade group backing alternative tax plan on drilling

By Bob Downing Published: January 9, 2014

From the Associated Press:

A top lobbyist for Ohio's oil and gas drilling industry urged state lawmakers Wednesday to support a package of tax revisions advanced as an alternative to an earlier plan by Republican Gov. John Kasich.

At a packed hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Ohio Oil and Gas Association executive vice president Tom Stewart expressed support for a tax bill introduced last month.

The proposal would raise the severance tax rate on horizontally drilled wells by 1 percent, then 2 percent, while rolling back similar taxes on traditional wells.

The plan would exempt drilling companies subject to the new tax from Ohio's main business tax, called the Commercial Activity Tax, and makes other adjustments.

Critics say Ohio's drilling taxes would still be too low, given the money to be made through natural gas-rich shale deposits made newly available in recent years through advances in high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, which involves horizontal drilling.

Stewart said the new proposal is constructed to encourage gas exploration, environmental protection and regulatory reform without scaring off drillers.

He said it's important to bring certainty to the state's drilling industry, repeatedly rebutting suggestions that the energy companies that have blanketed shale-rich regions of eastern and southern Ohio in recent years won't be deterred no matter how high the taxes.

"This concept that people must come to Ohio, must stay in Ohio, is simply not accurate," he said.

The current bill, backed by Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder, is presented as an alternative to a proposal last year by Kasich that would have raised the severance tax on oil and gas drilling and used the proceeds for a modest statewide income-tax reduction.

Kasich included the tax proposal in last year's state budget bill, but Batchelder and his chamber stripped it out.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.