With bipartisan support, the Ohio House of Representatives yesterday voted to pass Substitute House Bill 375, legislation that enhances the state’s oil and gas regulatory program and modifies the severance tax on extraction.
Among other provisions, Sub. H.B. 375:
- Provides oil and gas producers with some certainty about their potential tax burden when deciding whether or not to invest billions of dollars into energy exploration and development in Ohio
- Provides annual income tax relief to Ohioans—more than $325 million over the next five years—through the Ohio Income Tax Reduction Fund
- Addresses the lingering environmental issue of plugging idle and orphan wells from historic production
- Distributes 17.5 percent in revenue to local governments
- Proposes a funding formula for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management to administer the regulatory program
“New technology has allowed us to once again become one of the leading oil-producing states in the nation,” said Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman (R-Lima), the primary sponsor of the legislation. “With every opportunity comes tremendous responsibility. We want to make sure that this is done correctly, that the industry is properly permitted, and that the environmental issues are taken care of.”
Sub. H.B. 375 has received support from such organizations as the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
The legislation will now move to the Ohio Senate, where it will undergo further consideration.