An Ohio politician who represents a state with virtually no public lands is poised to make Western taxpayers pay for his long-running love affair with the oil and gas companies, by allowing them to waste our money and energy with virtually no accountability.
Senator Rob Portman just pledged his support for a plan to let big energy companies burn off natural gas with no consequences at all. Natural gas on federal lands, the vast majority of which is West of the Mississippi River, belongs to all American taxpayers. When companies burn it off, they should have to pay a royalty, but the plan Senator Portman backs will protect them from accountability.
This should come as no surprise as the brain trust advising Senator Portman on these issues includes Patrick Orth, a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry. What’s more is that Senator Portman has been the beneficiary of huge campaign spending on the part of the oil and gas industry.
Western taxpayers have gotten the short end of the stick from the East Coast and out-of-touch politicians for a long time. Now they can add Ohio to the list.