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Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Another Lawmaker Caught Self-Dealing Backtracks
State Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), an attorney by trade, chairs the House Energy Committee. According to his statement of economic interest, he has a financial stake in 28 oil and gas companies, including some with operations in Indiana. The Indianapolis Star's Tony Cook raised questions about legislation Rep. Koch is sponsoring to prohibit local units of government with home rule powers from regulating or prohibiting oil and gas exploration, or production activities, including anything related to hydraulic fracturing or horizontal drilling. Rep. Koch initially insisted his legislative action did not violate House Ethics Rules. On second thought, Rep. Koch has decided to withdraw the legislation because it had become a "distraction." Koch is a member of the House Ethics Committee, which just voted to tighten up ethics rules.