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U.S. CONGRESSMAN BILL JOHNSON Proudly Representing Eastern and Southeastern Ohio

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Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools Superintendent Testifies Before House Subcommittee

Spoke on behalf of H.R. 3846, The POWER Counties Act

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Washington, April 19, 2018 | Ben Keeler (330.337.6951) | comments
Yesterday, Congressman Bill Johnson’s (R-Marietta) legislation, H.R. 3846, The Providing Opportunities with Energy Revenues (POWER) Counties Act received a legislative hearing before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Testifying on behalf of the legislation was Dr. Jeffrey Greenley, Superintendent of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (Monroe County):
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Yesterday, Congressman Bill Johnson’s (R-Marietta) legislation, H.R. 3846, The Providing Opportunities with Energy Revenues (POWER) Counties Act received a legislative hearing before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Testifying on behalf of the legislation was Dr. Jeffrey Greenley, Superintendent of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (Monroe County):

Yesterday, Congressman Bill Johnson spoke before the House Natural Resources Committee on behalf of his legislation, H.R. 3846, The POWER Counties Act. Johnson introduced this legislation in September of 2017.

“As it stands now, the federal government, and some states, receive revenue in the form of royalties and permit fees from energy companies that develop energy on federally owned land, such as the Wayne National Forest,” Bill Johnson said. “However, Ohio counties do not directly receive any of this revenue. This is wrong, and The POWER Counties Act would remedy this. My legislation calls for 20% of this revenue to be redirected back to the counties where those federal lands are located, where funding can be used to support education initiatives and infrastructure improvements. It’s a simple issue of fairness, and there is no additional expense to the taxpayer.”

Also speaking in support of The POWER Counties Act was Dr. Jeffrey Greenley, the superintendent of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, located in Monroe County which contains portions of the Wayne National Forest. The school district is the largest, geographically, in the state and the largest employer in the county.

HIGHLIGHTS OF DR. GREENLEY’S TESTIMONY:

“If passed, this bill would be transformative for our community.  Proceeds from the drilling in Wayne National Forest could bring back art and music in our schools, both of which were heavily cut in years past.  We could invest in the physical, mental and behavioral supports that the high poverty students we serve need in order to be successful.  We could provide our students with a vision for the future and the hope that they need to meaningfully engage in their studies.”

“There is real hope that a wave of innovation and transformation is coming to our area as oil and gas wells are drilled and newspaper articles boast about the various employers that are looking to the Marcellus and Utica Shale region.  But some of the hardened people of Monroe County cynically don’t believe that any real economic traction will come.  Instead, they are afraid that outsiders will descend on our county for just a few years to destroy our roads, increase our crime and then leave after robbing our land and piping off our natural resources to be sold or refined by other people’s children.”

“We are stuck in a Catch-22.  We don’t currently have the workforce to easily convince manufacturers to come to our area.  But we don’t currently have the funding to invest in our career development programs to give our students the tools that would attract those industries.  What we need are the resources to invest in our schools to align ourselves with county and regional workforce development goals to create the workforce to attract businesses to locate to our area.  And we need them now.  Otherwise we will miss the wave of opportunity and sit helpless as another chance to secure a solid job for our students slips through our fingers.” 

Bill Johnson added: “I sincerely thank Dr. Greenley for traveling to Washington to speak on behalf of his students, staff, and community. The passion he has for his work and Monroe County is evident. I appreciate him speaking on behalf of The POWER Counties Act and the benefits it would bring to school districts and communities like his.”

Also testifying on behalf of H.R. 3846 was Mr. Mark Christensen, County Commissioner of Campbell County, Wyoming.

 

Opening statement from Rep. Johnson can be found here.

Entire testimony of Dr. Greenley can be found here.

Full video for the hearing can be viewed here. (starts at 20:50)

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