News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Hennes Paynter Communications


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Freeze on efficiency, renewable standards passes Ohio's Senate
The Ohio House will now look at a new plan to freeze Ohio's green-energy standards
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
Solar panels on the Summit RTA building provide renewable energy.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A measure to overhaul Ohio’s energy policies is on its way to the House after the Senate held an early morning vote Thursday. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has been following this issue and has more on the latest changes to the bill.

LISTEN: Ohio House to take up renewable energy standards.

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:15)


All day affair
After a long day of meetings and a session that went late into the night, the Ohio Senate passed a new energy bill that would freeze the state’s efficiency renewable standards for two years.

The fact that it moves on to the House is a milestone in itself. The Senate has been working on this issue for a year and a half.

History of renewable energy standards
The standards were created by law in 2008. They set benchmarks for utilities to achieve a certain amount of energy efficiency and use a certain amount of renewable sources by 2025.

Republican senators, like Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, have said these standards are leading to higher electric costs for consumers. Since the start of 2013, proposed changes to the standards have taken many forms from a complete overhaul of the policies to an indefinite freeze.

Review to be conducted of impact on consumers
The legislation that the Senate passed very early Thursday morning kept the freeze of the standards pending a review of their impact on costs to consumers. Only now, if the General Assembly doesn’t act, those standards start back up in 2017.

Seitz, who spoke on the Senate floor, says he has nothing against efficiency and renewable energy.

“But what this bill is about is mandates," Seitz said. "They like to talk about standards—standards—sounds so nice it’s a standard. It’s not a standards it’s a mandate—whether you want to pay or not—you pay.”

Kearney opposed to freeze
Democratic Senator Eric Kearney of Cincinnati has been vocally opposed to a straight up freeze of the standards and wants to find a way to keep the benchmarks while still studying the costs.

“While the rest of the United States and most parts of the world are moving towards embracing a more diverse energy portfolio in the opposite direction,” Kearney said.

Changes by the senate
The Senate made more changes to the bill in the past week after reports that Gov. John Kasich was threatening a veto.

A recently added provision would’ve let consumers opt out of their utility’s efficiency program if it started costing them too much. According to Seitz, Kasich urged the Senate to remove that language and did so, but not without debate.

“The consumer opt out provision was in my opinion one of the best parts of the bill cause what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna tell everybody in Ohio what they’re paying for these mandates and if they’re paying more than 3% of the generation side of their bill’s cost in mandates—every consumer—every consumer in Ohio could write a letter to their friendly local utility company and say ‘I don’t want to pay it anymore thank you very much,” Seitz said.

Freeze could hurt alternative energy business
Ted Ford is with Advanced Energy Economy Ohio which represents more than 400 alternative energy companies. He says this freeze on the standards will drive business away.

“Because it’s still a big question mark of whether or not they’re still in play and a lot of that investment which is planned at the moment—something in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion in projects ready to go," Ford said. "That money will go someplace else.”

Standards could keep companies from moving to Ohio
On the other hand, Republican Senate President Keith Faber said keeping the standards might be unattractive to companies thinking about moving to Ohio.

The bill now goes to the House where the speaker has said he’d like to pass it by the end of the month.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Crisis looms in filling aviation industry jobs in Ohio and the nation
I listened to this story yesterday morning on the radio and just want to add this comment. My son went to school to train as an air traffic controller, and gra...

Cuyahoga Valley National Park considers fire to fight invasives
I'm for the controlled burn. There are not enough people (myself included) who volunteer for the removal of invasive plant species. Therefore, another solution ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University