Freeze on Clean Energy / Renewable Energy

After December veto, proposal to change green energy requirements on utilities to goals is back

Statehouse News Bureau

COLUMBUS — “When Gov. John Kasich vetoed another two year freeze on the state’s renewable energy benchmarks last year, his fellow Republicans in the legislature promised they’d be back with a total repeal of those benchmarks. And they appear to have taken the first step.

Amid the Christmas rush in December, Gov. John Kasich vetoed a bill that would have frozen for another two years the state’s renewable energy standards for electric utilities – saying it would ‘do self-inflicted damage to Ohio’s economic competitiveness’. He telegraphed that coming veto to lawmakers in Ohio while speaking at an appearance at the University of Texas last September. ‘If you try and kill the standards, whether it has to do with the renewables or whether it has to do with the issue of saving energy, I’ll veto the bill,’ Kasich warned.

That bill would have made the renewable energy benchmarks voluntary goals instead of required mandates for the utilities for two years. Kasich and others viewed last year’s proposal as a continuation of the two-year freeze lawmakers passed for the standards in 2014, and he had repeatedly had said he couldn’t support an indefinite freeze. After that veto, supporters of the freeze vowed they’d be back right away. And two months into the new two-year session, half the House is co-sponsoring a bill from Rep. Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati) that would make a major change in the renewable energy law – leaving behind the state’s mandates and the penalties for not meeting them.”

— Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau

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