An update on lawmaker action and other activities at the Ohio Statehouse related to horizontal

An update on lawmaker action and other activities at the Ohio Statehouse related to horizontal hydraulic fracturing:

Incentives approved: The Ohio Tax Credit Authority OK’d a seven-year, 55 percent job-creation tax credit for Legacy Measurement Solutions Inc., formerly the J-W Measurement Co., in Brookfield Township. The company plans to create 150 full-time jobs and some $6.8 million in additional annual payroll. Legacy Measurement makes engineered gas measurement equipment, supplies and services for the oil and natural-gas industry.

Natural-gas cars: A bipartisan bill was introduced in the Ohio House to provide incentives for those who purchase vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. Reps. Sean O’Brien of Brookfield, D-63rd, and Dave Hall, R-Millersburg, want to take advantage of fuel coming from eastern Ohio’s emerging shale plays.

“Ohio is well behind other states when it comes to [compressed natural gas],” O’Brien said in a released statement. “It’s particularly frustrating when you consider we have the Marcellus and Utica shale plays here in Ohio, yet we are currently doing little to take advantage of our resources.”

Lake Erie drilling ban: Sen. Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood, offered sponsor testimony before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee on SB 87, which would ban oil and gas drilling under Lake Erie. The bill is comparable to legislation introduced in the Ohio House that had a hearing earlier this year. It’s also in line with a federal ban on drilling in the Great Lakes and a similar executive order issued by Gov. John Kasich last year.

“Lake Erie is a vital part of our state, and its impact is felt beyond just the Northeast Ohio area,” Skindell said. “The lake provides a great ecosystem, which drives millions of dollars in tourism, fishing, shipping and agriculture.”

He added, “It is essential to protect this state treasure from potentially disastrous conditions.”

Defamation suit: Duck Creek Energy of Brecksville in Cuyahoga County settled a lawsuit against two individuals who made “false and defamatory statements” about the company’s road de-icers and dust suppressants made from brine water from oil and gas wells. The settlement bars Tish O’Dell and Michelle Aini from describing the products as frack water or frack waste.

“I felt it was crucial to stand up for the oil and gas industry and hold these individuals accountable for making defamatory statements about our product,” David I. Mansbery, president of Duck Creek, said in a released statement. “The defendant’s malicious statement that AquaSalina is ‘frack water’ was completely untrue and, in fact, the product they defamed is environmentally friendly, and use of the product actually gives benefits to the environment rather than harming it by reducing the rock salt and chlorides applied to roadways by up to 40 percent.”

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