Legislation to Weaken Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards Will Move the State Backward
COLUMBUS, OH, July 23, 2019 /3BL Media/ — The Ohio legislature approved legislation today to weaken the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency resource standards, a move that will effectively halt clean energy development in the Buckeye State, said the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres.
“Today’s decision takes Ohio backward at a time when the rest of the country—including many leading investors and companies—is moving forward by embracing a clean energy future,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager of state policy at Ceres.
The legislation, which is part of a larger legislative package to bail out of the state’s aging nuclear plants, significantly reduces renewable energy and energy efficiency targets for Ohio’s electric utilities.
Many investors and companies and others in higher education and healthcare opposed today’s move to weaken Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency resource standards because they see the standards as a way to help cut costs, avoid the volatility of fossil fuel prices and stay competitive. These private sector leaders and institutions say that weakening the standards will lead to higher energy costs and stifle investment and growth in the state.
“Robust clean energy standards are key to attracting investments and bringing new jobs to the state,” added Gold Roberts. “As the trend toward corporate clean energy investment continues, policies that ensure access to cost-effective clean energy will be critical to capturing corporate clean energy investments, growing Ohio’s economy and building a brighter future for its communities.”
“Strong clean energy standards have a direct and positive impact on air quality and the health of all Ohioans,” said Sarah Spengeman, associate director for communications and advocacy at Health Care Without Harm. “Hospitals and health care institutions across the state know that access to renewable energy and energy efficiency are key to reducing operating costs while protecting the health and wellbeing of the patients and communities they serve. Ohio policymakers should be working to strengthen theses standards, not taking steps to weaken them."
“Higher education institutions in Ohio are committed to accelerating a clean energy future and will be impacted by the move to weaken the state’s clean energy standards,” said Tim Carter, president at Second Nature, an organization working with higher education on climate action. “Ohio needs strong clean energy standards to drive innovation and economic development—and ensure the state remains an attractive place to live and work for people of all ages. This is a core part of higher education’s mission and we will keep pushing policymakers to take action to advance a clean energy economy.”
With strong clean energy standards in place, Ohio could attract more than $25 billion in investment to Ohio and generate nearly 20,000 additional jobs in the state. Ohio is currently home to more than 112,000 clean energy jobs.
“Ceres will continue to work with investors and companies in our networks and beyond to advocate for clean energy in Ohio,” said Gold Roberts. “We hope to work with Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio lawmakers to help advance policies to encourage investment in the state’s clean energy industry.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy.