COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rules regulating oil and gas well construction, water handling, and chemical disclosure in the fracking process are on their way to the governor’s desk for John Kasich’s signature.
The Ohio House passed the energy bill early Thursday evening in a vote of 73 to 19.
Representative Sean O’Brien from Brookfield says, “I support this bill because it’s a start in the right way.”
O’Brien’s Democratic colleagues, Ron Gerberry and Tom Letson, voted in favor of the legislation. Bob Hagan voted against. His attempt to add an amendment that would guarantee Ohioans would get 60% of the jobs was tabled.
“Drive down to Carroll County. Drive down to any of the roadways where they’re into that drilling. Drive into the hotels and motels and look at the license plates. I did. Oklahoma, Texas, not to many Ohioans,” Hagan said.
In a concurrence vote, the state Senate approved the House’s amendments to the bill in a vote of 21 to 8.
Senators Capri Cafaro and Joe Schiavoni voted against the legislation. Schiavoni also had an amendment that was tabled.
“There was nothing in the bill about the public’s ability to give feedback in the permit process. So I tried to amend the bill to have a 30 day comment period just so that the public knows where these wells are going to go and when they’re going to go in,” Schiavoni said.
Schiavoni also said the bill was stripped of its original language pertaining to injection wells. That a portion of their revenue would go toward geological research on seismic activity.
While the bill makes strides toward companies having to disclose what chemicals are in fracking fluid, environmentalists say it limits who can sue energy companies for chemical trade secrets.