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Ohio Sierra Club Says Green Energy Bill Could Stunt Solar Industry

photo of Kristen Kubitza
Kristen Kubitza, President of Ohio's Sierra Club chapter, questions Governor Kasich's support of the bill.

An environmental group says Ohio is 11th among all states in jobs in the solar energy industry. But the group says a vote likely this week in the House to change the state’s energy requirements for electric utilities could change that.

The Solar Foundation’s job survey shows more than 5,800 solar jobs in Ohio now, with a 3% projected growth this year. But the Sierra Club says the proposal to change the state’s renewable energy benchmarks from requirements to goals could stall that.

Kristen Kubitza with the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club says she thinks the bill will pass the House but that the Senate and governor may have different ideas.

“So we are not expecting this to become law, not expecting it to pass out of the Senate, Gov. Kasich has been very firm.”

Kubitza notes Kasich has not been supportive of this bill, which is very similar to the one he vetoed just before the legislative session ended. But this time both chambers have veto-proof majorities and more time to override a possible rejection by the governor. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.