Thursday, May 29, 2014

Last Call For Lights Out, Ohio

Gov. John Kasich and the GOP-controlled state legislature are about to kill green energy in Ohio.

Senate Bill 310 is a two-year freeze on standards that apply to electricity utilities for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

It also makes major changes to the rules when they resume in 2017, ending a requirement that utilities purchase half of their renewable energy from within the state and expanding the types of projects that count as energy efficiency

The standards needed to be changed because they “are simply not achievable or sustainable,” said Rep. Peter Stautberg, R-Anderson Township.

Ohio is the first state of the 29 with renewable-energy standards to pass a reduction of the standards in both legislative chambers. Similar proposals have been made in more than a dozen other states and were all beaten back by some of the same concerns that were expressed in Ohio.

In light of this distinction, the bill makes Ohio the “laughingstock of these United States,” said Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown.

Rep. Mike Foley, D-Cleveland, said the bill is the worst proposal he has seen in eight years as a legislator. Supporters of the bill are “bound and determined to drag Ohio backward,” he said.

Two Democrats voted for the bill. Six Republicans voted against it, including Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington.

Asked about the disagreements among Republicans, House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said there had been a healthy debate.

I think some people really believe in this green stuff,” he said. “That’s fine. But somebody’s going to have to answer to the public as this additional expense gets added on.”

The funny part is that the "additional expense" is going to be higher for Ohio taxpayers without the efficiency standards, and of course, this was yet another piece of ALEC legislation from the Tea Party lunatics.

So good job with that, Ohio.  Better hope in two years there's Democrats in charge of the state, because if it's still Kasich and his clowns, Ohio's future in green jobs is over.  It'll go to other states who really do want jobs.

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