IO Praises DeWine for Quick Action on “Landowner Bill of Rights”

For Immediate Release: Feb. 9, 2012

Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833

Innovation Ohio Praises DeWine for Quick Action on
“Landowner Bill of Rights”

Think Tank Says Kasich Should Pursue IO’s Other Two Proposals

Columbus: Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today warmly praised Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for announcing that he intends to pursue a series of actions to protect landowners who sell “fracking” mineral rights to oil and gas companies.

DeWine’s announcement comes just six days after the release of IO’s “Fracking, Fairness and the Future” report, which recommended that the state adopt three major policy recommendations, including a “Landowner Bill of Rights” enforced by the Attorney General.  DeWine’s proposals closely mirror Innovation Ohio’s recommendations.

Said IO President Janetta King:

“We’re delighted that Attorney General DeWine obviously agreed with us that action must be taken to protect Ohio landowners from being ripped off or kept in the dark when they sell mineral rights to big oil and gas companies.

“In particular, we’re delighted that the AG and IO are on the same page concerning the need for stronger chemical disclosure regulations on a per-well basis, that his office should be empowered to assist landowners with complaints, and that current state law must be strengthened when it comes to penalizing violations.

“Now that the Attorney General has done his part, it’s time for Gov. Kasich and the General Assembly to step up to the plate and do theirs.  Specifically, they should not only enact the DeWine recommendations, but also create a “Hire Ohio” policy to make sure Ohioans, not out-of-state workers, get the tens of thousands of jobs that the oil industry claims will be created.  And they should enact a reasonable Windfall Profits or “severance” tax, preferably at the Texas rate of 7.5% on natural gas and 4.6% on oil and natural gas liquids.

“Similarly, the Governor has frequently said that while he’d love to help school districts and local governments recoup some of the billions they’ve lost through his  budget cuts, the state is ‘broke’ and can’t afford any ‘bailouts.’  Well, a fair  windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies could provide a brand new and multi-billion dollar revenue stream to help schools, communities and local taxpayers.  And given the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars Big Oil is poised to earn from fracking, asking them to pay the same tax rate they currently pay in Texas is perfectly reasonable.”

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