Like most states, Ohio has sensible requirements that require power companies to generate some of their electricity through renewable sources of energy like solar and/or wind power. The goal is to position the state to generate a quarter of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2025.
Soon, Ohio’s Republican governor will make these rules and goals go away, at least until 2017.
Gov. John Kasich plans to sign a controversial pullback on renewable-energy rules that passed the Ohio House yesterday. […]The bill passed the House 53-38, overcoming opposition from nearly all Democrats and some Republicans who said the measure will lead to job losses and an increase in air pollution. Soon after, the Senate voted to accept minor changes that the House had made to the bill, which sends it to the governor.
The measure doesn’t completely eliminate Ohio’s renewable energy rules; it just renders them meaningless for a couple of years, at which point policymakers will presumably take another look. The severity of the climate crisis will only get worse in the interim, though that apparently isn’t alarming to the new policy’s proponents.
Defending the energy standards he helped create while in office, former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) told Bloomberg News, “It’s an example of Ohio returning to the Dark Ages.”
Did I mention that the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity helped champion the proposal? It did.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board added that the soon-to-be-approved bill “is more than a simple freeze; the bill also will chill what have been burgeoning alternative-energy investments in a state, and during a governorship, that aims to create Ohio jobs.”
What’s more, note that Ohio is breaking new ground – of the dozens of states with renewable energy standards, the Buckeye State is poised to become the first to move backwards. (Kansas very nearly did the same thing, though as Rachel reported earlier this month, the bill ended up failing.)
State Rep. Robert Hagan (D) concluded in a statement, “As the rest of the country is moving forward on energy efficiency and independence, Ohio is moving backward. Reversing our Renewable Portfolio Standards is completely irrational, and unfortunately Ohio consumers and businesses are the victims of the absurdity.”