“Nonsense” is how Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder described Gov. Kasich’s proposal for higher severance taxes on oil and gas drilling. The statement was made during the three-day winter meeting of the powerful Ohio Oil and Gas Association. State Treasurer Josh Mandel also condemned the proposed severance tax, saying, “Now is not the time for government to kill the golden goose and scare away the capital that could lead to a long-term recovery in our state.”
I am perplexed by both statements. Scaring away the potential drilling gives the impression that drillers will go elsewhere to drill more cheaply.
Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy Corp. is pleased with the results from its 14 initial Ohio wells drilled in 2012 and intends to drill 50 new wells in 2013. Sounds like they have a pretty good thing going on, a bonanza, with not much risk.
I don’t think Gulfport will abandon plans to drill with the burden of a 4 percent tax on its production.
The statement by Batchelder describing the tax as nonsense leads me to reflect on some real nonsense.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the way we fund public education is unconstitutional. Mandel and Batchelder should be addressing that issue. What are their priorities?
They have lots of time to attend meetings with powerful associations but no time to work on an issue that affects every Ohio taxpayer.
Regarding the March 14 letter by Joe Rudicil, “A foolhardy tax increase”: Rudicil is president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.
He comments that Mandel and Batchelder are staying true to their business-friendly values. That comment epitomizes their core values.
A little taxpayer relief is much needed in this state for the regular guy, but not so much for Gulfport Energy or any other lucrative gas and oil driller.
I would propose that Gov. Kasich use that tax-generated money to fund the Ohio public schools to educate the rich and the poor. I would consider that a pretty good investment from the governor who proclaims that he is the education savior.
Eliminate tax levies for school funding? Powerful people could make it happen if they weren’t sitting on their hands.
Maybe we could get the cardinals to come over and give members of Congress a few tips on working together. Now that’s teamwork.
City of Akron officials have become tyrants. They have ordered good citizens out of the Mayflower Manor, their home.
They have said to these citizens, you go here and you go there.
The free choice of these citizens to live where they please has been taken from them.
How long are concerned citizens of Akron going to put up with this cruel and unjust tyranny?
Robert M. Kraus
No friend of the free market
State Rep. Kristina Roegner has introduced House Bill 102, which would allow the Public Utilities Commission to “assess extra fees to the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) or default rate currently being charged by utilities” (“Natural gas plan criticized,” March 16.
Roegner’s explanation of her motivations for favoring this change is surprisingly frank, but also confused.
Under current policy, the Standard Choice Offer is determined by a competitive auction among “marketers who bid or agree to supply the SCO rate.” Consequently, the rate is substantially lower than the rate charged by other gas marketers.
The consumer who chooses such a rate is enjoying savings through a competitive process. The adoption of H.B. 102 would surely raise the cost of gas for the consumer.
The bill would allow the commission to add cost to the standard choice rate to “promote competition.” Roegner states: “If that choice becomes more expensive, they [consumers] would be encouraged to shop on the market for natural gas. It’s encouraging more people to go shop.”
That makes no sense. Why would I prefer shopping for a higher rate after my standard choice rate was artificially raised by the Republican-controlled commission? This sounds more like price-fixing than free-market economics.
According to business writer Betty Lin-Fisher, “Roegner said she is open to changing and amending her bill as she and others learn more about the process.” Really? She has introduced a bill that deals with complex energy issues and she needs to learn more about the process?
Who actually wrote the bill? H.B. 102 has the fingerprints of gas industry lobbyists all over it.
Additionally, the standard choice rate for small businesses is being eliminated on April 1. We hear much from the Republican Party about how small businesses need to be protected from overregulation; apparently that concern evaporates when big business gas industry profits are at stake.
Student support for Coventry levy
As a Coventry High School student, I strongly urge all Coventry Local School District residents to vote in favor of our district’s proposed bond issue and tax levy.
I know you’re probably getting tired of hearing about this. I understand. But I, and about 2,400 other kids, are tired of having buildings continue to crumble around us.
Maybe you had difficulty in high school math. I’m sitting in class trying to pick up quadratic equations while ceiling tiles and old rainwater are falling literally five feet from my desk. And now, with the added threat of cutting all music programs, cheerleading and seventh-grade through ninth-grade sports, it’s even harder to focus.
When you went to school, I’m willing to bet it wasn’t only for the academic classes. Maybe you had a shop teacher who could make you smile no matter what kind of day you were having, or an art class where you could do anything you imagined.
These elective courses allow a safe place for students to express themselves in a positive and productive way. Coventry’s funk band is traveling to Canada in May to perform at the National Rose Festival; our cheerleaders won first place at the Portage Trail Conference Large Varsity Championship.
As a member of both band and choir, I can tell you that many students, including myself, are terrified of the possibility of losing years of hard work, dedication, tradition and so much emotional attachment.
To lose these programs would be to lose the pride of Coventry High School.
A few days prior to the February election, illegal signs urging residents to vote against the levy were placed less than a quarter mile away from three of our four schools. Imagine being a kid struggling through much as it is, and you look out the bus window to be reminded that you’re not worth it to citizens of the town that raised you. It only takes a few people to bring down a good thing.
The district wouldn’t be putting this issue on the ballot for a third time if it was not truly important. I can’t see myself going through the rest of high school without the incredible family I’ve made through our programs. We won’t go out without a fight.
Can someone please tell me who supplied the alcohol and “party center” for these young children from Steubenville?
It seems there should be some responsibility regarding the acquisition of alcohol. Were there no parents or supervision present to monitor the activity of the underage children in attendance?
Reflected in the stock price
The writer of the March 15 letter, “Protest or be positive,” became a Goodyear cheerleader, but missed a few facts.
He said to look at Firestone and Goodrich and where they are today. Yes, we know, Bridgestone took over Firestone due to years of poor management and sinking demand.
Goodrich fared much better, going into the aircraft industry. Its stock is $127 a share compared to $13 at Goodyear, which has risked its life on trying to make money on tires, which have become a commodity for most people. They buy the cheapest and they do not care what name is on them.
One thing about Goodyear management, and the share price reflects this, is that they are great at getting tax breaks from local communities desperate for jobs and good at building buildings.
Too bad it is incapable of putting all this effort into policies that would increase a dismal stock price. It is doing no more than playing defense in a market that does not need it.
It can no doubt hang on forever, without going out of business. It appears that its real agenda is to hang on so the “management” can reap pensions and paychecks.
John D. Ambrose