Guest blog by Dick Munson, Director, Midwest Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Ohio’s clean energy agenda has taken many hits in the past, particularly from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a front group and model bill factory for many corporate interests including oil, gas, and coal. Last year, ALEC led an unsuccessful effort to repeal the state’s clean energy standard. The introduction of Ohio’s Senate Bill 310 is the group’s most recent attempt to prevent Ohioans from continuing to enjoy the many benefits of new, clean energy technologies, reasonable electricity rates, and a healthy environment.
Hearings began last week on SB 310, which would freeze any additional energy efficiency or renewable energy mandates in Ohio after 2014. This is an amendment to the landmark 2008 legislation in Ohio requiring the state to acquire 12.5percent of its energy portfolio from renewables and to reduce energy consumption by 22 percent through energy efficiency measures by 2025. If adopted, this freeze would stymie Ohio from reaching its full clean energy potential, attaining instead only about one-tenth of its 2025 renewables goal and one-fifth of its energy efficiency target.
Source: Dustin M. Ramsey
Over the past six years, thanks to the 2008 clean energy legislation, Ohio has emerged as a national leader in clean energy. Ohio experienced record investments and economic growth in clean energy between 2010 and 2011, and has continued to become the nation’s third leading state in producing energy efficiency equipment. The 2008 clean energy standards have also breathed new life into the state’s manufacturing industry, and Ohio is now the top state in wind-related manufacturing facilities. These standards support over 25,000 Ohio jobs, saved consumers over $1 billion on electricity bills, and drastically slashed Ohio’s toxic air pollutants.
While said to be a “temporary stop,” the new legislation dismantles Ohio’s clean energy efforts. Unfortunately, the state has faced consistent introduction of anti-clean energy legislation since 2012 with no real end in sight. With backing from powerful industry leaders and campaign funding from deep pockets, including the Koch brothers, opponents of clean energy in Ohio seem to be in it for the long haul.
That’s why EDF has created an action alert to help concerned Ohio citizens protect the state’s job-creating, clean energy economy. Join the majority who support clean energy by adding your name and telling the Governor, State Senators, and State Representatives to put Ohioan’s health, economy, and environment first. Don’t let Ohio lose out on these crucial clean energy standards.