Ohio State Senate Passes Bill Expanding Drilling on State Land

Within 24 hours of presenting the idea, Ohio Senate Republicans passed legislation on Wednesday that aims to expand the ability to drill for oil and gas on state-owned lands.

A 2011 state law gave state agencies the power, if they choose, to lease out state lands for oil and gas exploration and production. However, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission has been slow to approve any projects. Former Governor John Kasich signed that bill into law but didn’t appoint anyone to the commission for years. Under Governor Mike DeWine, the commission has met more often but has not approved leases.

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Ohio State Senate Passes Bill Recognizing Natural Gas as Green Energy, Facilitating Drilling on State Lands

The Ohio State Senate this week passed a bill deeming natural gas a form of “green energy” and eased the leasing of state lands by fossil-fuel companies. 

Sponsored by state Representative J. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), the measure’s main feature is an unrelated agricultural policy reducing the minimum number of poultry chicks that can be sold or transferred in Ohio from six to three. Lawmakers embraced that change based on the advice of the poultry industry and that of adults supervising children in 4-H agriculture programs who want to make smaller purchases for their farm projects. 

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