By Matt Hurley | Special to Ohio Watchdog
Afraid of what might happen if the legislative process is allowed to work, Ohio Gov. John Kasich socked it to the oil and gas industry again Tuesday.
He signed Executive Order 2012-09K, allowing unelected bureaucrats to enact even more regulations at a fragile time when investment in Ohio is supposed to be at the top of his agenda.
The chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, according to the order, must require more testing and safeguards as part of the permitting process for an injection well used in connection with oil and gas drilling. The Executive Order is effective immediately.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for proper stewardship and due diligence. However, my industry sources tell me that Ohio already has the most stringent, robust and transparent oil and gas regulatory system in the United States.
This administration is becoming more and more hostile every day to an industry that wants to provide jobs not only to the energy sector of the Ohio economy but indirectly to just about every other industry as well.
So, what is this really about?
Kasich appears to want to pick the winners and losers regarding which companies and industries get to do business in the Buckeye State. Why is it that some corporations get incentives to move operations to Ohio and others do not? If the whole point is to get jobs in Ohio, we have a golden opportunity with the oil and gas industry and all they are asking for is a fair tax system under which to do business here.
This is the casinos all over again. The governor thinks he can squeeze a few more dollars out of a new business venture and attempt to look like a populist hero. But it isn’t likely to work this time, because the oil and gas industry can go to states less hostile than Ohio is beginning to appear.