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House Committee Favorably Passes EnergizeOhio

June 13, 2024
Don Jones News

COLUMBUS- The House Economic and Workforce Development Committee recently passed House Bill 349, known as EnergizeOhio, which authorizes the creation of natural gas pipeline incentive areas. The legislation is sponsored by State Reps. Tim Barhorst (R-Fort Loramie) and Don Jones (R-Freeport).

Energize Ohio creates several incentives to build natural gas pipelines and related infrastructure within locally designated “EnergizeOhio zones.” The legislation authorizes revolving loans to local governments to acquire natural gas pipeline easements on property within an EnergizeOhio zone. A total of $20 million will be appropriated to the EnergizeOhio Program Loan Fund for 2025.

“Despite the blessings of an abundant supply of natural gas within our great state, communities everywhere are plagued by a lack of access to this resource and Logan & Champaign counties are no exception,” said Barhorst. “House Bill 349 will help lower long-term costs for companies wanting to invest in natural gas infrastructure and ensure our communities have a shot for economic development opportunities.”

To ensure transparency, the Department of Development must publish a map of areas receiving the loans and notify the Tax commissioner of any areas that receive the EnergizeOhio designation.

“The United States is currently the number 1 purchaser of natural gas, but the two largest natural gas companies are owned by Russia and China,” said Jones. “In addition to providing the necessary infrastructure to aid parts of the state without natural gas, House Bill 349 creates necessary infrastructure to keep Ohio’s natural gas in Ohio, and not reliant on natural gas from foreign countries.”

House Bill 349 awaits a vote on the House floor.