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Ohio now has comprehensive energy plan

5:48 PM, Jun 11, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- It didn't take much energy to make it official, just a few strokes of the pen.

Governor John Kasich's action gives Ohio one of the most comprehensive plans to create and supply safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for future job creation of any state.

The massive bill comes after consulting with scientific, environmental and business groups.

Much of the bill focuses on new, tougher regulations governing the dos and don'ts of injecting chemicals into the ground and reporting actions taken by drilling companies using the new technology of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to get natural gas and oil from shale deposits.

"It's aggressive. It does protect the environment," Kasich said

It creates the nation's first combined disclosure requirement for constructing and using hydraulic fracturing.

It requires sharing all chemical information with doctors.

It establishes dailly fines for operators who break the law.

But companies can keep so-called "trade secret" information classified from the state unless there is an emergency.

Critics say the bill does not go far enough. The industry says it is balanced.

The plan omits Kasich's bid to raise the tax drillers' pay on oil and gas they extract.

Lawmakers set that part of the plan aside after drilling companies complained. Ohio's rates are among the lowest.

Kasich predicts there will eventually be an increased tax that will result in an income tax reduction for Ohio taxpayers.

The bill also puts new emphasis on capturing waste energy from factories. The plan considers that alternative energy.

The plan emphasizes training for new energy jobs and makes clean coal research a priority.

Kasich believes Ohio and other states can do a better job of leading the way striving for energy independence than the Federal government does in many areas.

WKYC-TV

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