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.

The Holden Arboretum

Cedar Point

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


Are energy-freeze opponents making progress in the Ohio House?
The energy bill that went fast in the Ohio Senate hits a clog in the House 
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
Ohio would be the first to repeal the standards, which call for more efficiency and more electricity to come from renewable sources.
Courtesy of File photo
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The debate over Ohio’s energy standards is escalating as legislators trade accusations, and groups on both sides lobby hard. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, some believe the momentum of the bill is changing course.

LISTEN: Chow on the energy bill's delay

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:47)


Since it passed the Senate during an early morning session earlier this month, the energy bill that would freeze efficiency and renewable standards is gaining more attention from advocacy groups.

This week, a faith-based coalition voiced its opposition to the bill, saying it would stunt green-energy development. And the green-energy business coalition called Advanced Energy Economy Ohio released a TV ad in hopes of turning up the pressure on legislators.

Says the ad:  “Just as our comeback is gaining steam—our state is trying to pass a law that would shut down new-energy job growth and send us back to the rust belt. We can’t let that happen.”

Just a breather
Republican Sen. Troy Balderson of Zanesville is the sponsor of the bill. He says he respects the groups’ right to oppose the legislation but insists it’s just a two-year freeze that’s needed in order to evaluate the standards’ impact on costs.

“I’m not going to turn anything into a Rust Belt in two years’ time,” he says. “The numbers are going to stay the same. I think this is something that’s engaged enough all over—the people are going to want some answers.”

Balderdash
Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, who has been the most vocal force behind a change to the current energy standards, has some stronger criticism for those leading the opposition.

 “The campaign against this has been the biggest campaign of deception and misinformation that I’ve ever seen in 14 years and the fervency of their cries is simply testament to the fact that they know that this is coming, and they’re resorting to hysteria in an effort to derail this bill.”

Unexpected rush, then unexpected delay
The bill was scheduled for a possible vote in a House committee this week, but that meeting was canceled.

Democratic Rep. Bob Hagan of Youngstown, who’s against the measure, believes that could be a sign that opponents are slowing down the bill.

“When you slow something down in the Legislature, that does give those individuals who oppose an opportunity to gain some momentum.”

Campaign contributions
As opponents and supporters go back and forth in the debate, a large portion of the argument has to do with ratepayer prices on electric bills. But Hagan accuses lawmakers of pushing for the legislation to satisfy large campaign contributors, not consumers.

“Just look at the numbers, and look at the lobbyists that have joined forces in giving those campaign contributions to the individuals to stall the movement towards alternative energy.”

A look at Balderson’s most recent campaign filing report shows that his top contributors are utilities and energy companies, with American Electric Power topping the list with a $5,000 donation. 

These contributions were for the primary, and were filed nearly two months before Balderson introduced his new energy bill. Balderson adamantly denies his bill is a political favor for campaign contributors.

 “Completely not true. It’s not about campaign contributions for me. This is a bill we’ve been working on for a very long time — maybe not SB310 but SB58. We’ve heard from both sides of this issue. We understand and consumers are saying something about it.”

It’s all about constituents
Balderson added that he continues to hear concerns from constituents about increasing electric bills and the impact these standards may have.

Seitz also slams any accusation that links the bill to campaign contributions.

“It’s not about campaign contributions for me because I’m term limited. So that’s one more hysterical, ridiculous argument that is being thrown in a last ditch effort to

Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder has said he plans to hold a vote on the bill before breaking for summer recess. 

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

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

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?

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