Ohio think tank proposes tax hike on shale drillers

Innovation Ohio, a left-leaning think tank headquartered in Columbus, released a report today that outlines three policy proposals that the group says will ensure that the shale boom in Ohio is safe and beneficial to the state's residents, including a claim that if Ohio raised its severance tax rate to the level set in Texas  – including expanding the tax to apply to natural gas liquids – the state would raise nearly $2.5 billion over 10 years. The report, titled "Fracking, Fairness and the Future," also recommends a landowner bill of rights to protect lessors from being cheated or left with damaged or polluted resources as well as the development of mechanisms and incentives to ensure that Ohioans are hired for jobs brought into the state via the shale boom. For more read the press release here or the full report here.