Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 4369, the Using our Energy to Build Better Communities Act:
"The energy renaissance occurring here in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio is having a positive impact on almost every sector of our economy, but none more so than in education. Young people are learning of the many opportunities coming from the good paying jobs resulting from the oil and gas boom. And, as local businesses grow and hire, our schools are expanding their programs to help prepare students for new and exciting careers right here in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio.
"Currently, the federal government, and some states, receive revenue in the form of royalties and permit fees as federally owned land - like the Wayne National Forest - is leased to companies to tap into our vast natural energy resources. Unfortunately, our counties do not directly receive any of the revenue generated from these drill sites on federal lands. My legislation would change this, by redirecting 20% of this revenue back to the very counties from which it originated. This bill requires that this revenue must then be used to support education initiatives and road improvements within that county -- at no additional cost to the taxpayer.
"One of my most important jobs is listening to the hardworking taxpayers I represent; that's why I decided to act. I am hopeful the House will take this bill up and pass it as soon as possible, because the hardworking taxpayers of the counties comprised of federal lands deserve to benefit from the revenues derived from energy development on those lands."