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Republicans mull two-year freeze of green energy standards
Open headlines: Harsh winter boosts FirstEnergy profits; School levies do well in 2014

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Harsh winter boosts FirstEnergy profits
  • School levies do well in 2014
  • Problems plague election in Toledo
  • Kasich's denial of parole devastates former death row inmate 
  • Republicans mull two-year freeze of green energy standards
    An Ohio Senate panel plans to continue discussing legislation altering renewable energy and efficiency standards imposed on utility companies.

    Under the latest revisions to the closely-watched bill, Ohio's alternative-energy targets would be put on hold for two years as a panel of legislators studies their impact.

    The Senate Public Utilities Committee today backed off efforts to repeal the mandates. The updated bill would allow phase-in of the standards to continue if lawmakers don't act on the study panel's recommendations at the end of two years.

    Current law requires utilities to produce 12.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources and 12.5 percent from advanced sources by 2025.

    Sen. Troy Balderson, the bill's sponsor, said majority Republicans still believe the "25 by '25" standard needs revisiting but are trying to address concerns. Opponents include environmentalists, manufacturers and alternative-energy producers.

    The committee reconvenes later today.

    Harsh winter boosts FirstEnergy profits
    This year’s bitter winter boosted earnings for FirstEnergy’s first quarter.

    The Akron-based utility posted a 6 percent increase in profits over last year, “largely due to colder temperatures this year,” according to yesterday’s earnings report.

    CEO Anthony Alexander said, the company is “encouraged by signs of modest economic improvement in our region," but remains “strong advocates of changes that can improve competitive markets.”

    FirstEnergy is backing the plan in the Ohio Senate to freeze renewable and energy efficiency standards.

    School levies do well in 2014
    Ohio voters have passed more than two-thirds of the school funding levies on ballots statewide.

    The Ohio School Boards Association says that 102 funding levies were approved by voters Tuesday, while 46 were rejected.

    The association said today that the 69-percent approval rate was consistent with statewide results in previous elections.

    There were 78 renewal levies, and that bunch enjoyed a 91 percent approval rate. 

    One of the highest renewed levies was for the Woodridge Local School District. Sixty percent of voters approved the Summit County district’s 10.87 mill renewal levy.

    New money requests from districts didn’t fare quite as well.

    There were 57 statewide, and roughly 40 percent passed.

    Problems plague election in Toledo
    Officials say missing data cards and other unspecified problems delayed primary election results in one northwest Ohio county.

    Tuesday's results in Lucas County were delayed until past midnight, according to The Toledo Blade. The elections office website this morning showed all the votes counted.

    The elections director says results were delayed partially because of the missing cards, but she also indicated there were other unspecified problems.

    An employee of Dominion, the company that operates the touch screen voting machines, confirmed to the newspaper that five cards were missing just after midnight.

    Kasich's denial of parole devastates former death row inmate
    A former death row inmate spared from execution calls the decision by Ohio Gov. John Kasich not to make him eligible for parole devastating.

    Prison inmate Arthur Tyler says Kasich snatched away an opportunity for possible freedom provided by the Ohio Parole Board.

    The board ruled unanimously in favor of mercy for Tyler last month and also recommended he be made eligible for parole at some point.

    Kasich commuted Tyler's sentence to life without parole.

    Tyler says he is innocent of the 1983 fatal shooting of Cleveland produce vendor Sander Leach.

    Listener Comments:

    Sensible energy is a lot closer than 2025 like it or not. Energy producers will be forced to adapt to survive much quicker than regulations will force them, waste of tax payer money to fund a study proposed for the purpose of maintaining status quo profits of private companies. I mean honestly, 11 years in the future of an ever accelerating world they will have to be forced to use 12% wind/water/solar power? Honestly that's absurdly pathetic.

    Posted by: Jason (Idaho) on May 7, 2014 7:05AM
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