Civic Engagement Work

cleanenergyleader_navyChange the Climate in Ohio

Ohio Citizen Action has campaigned for the last several years to move Ohio away from dependence on coal, and toward greater efficiency and use of cleaner, renewable energy sources. Our campaign has tremendous popular support. In fact, an Ohio Advanced Energy Economy poll in 2014 found that 72% of Ohioans prefer moving away from burning coal and toward cleaner, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Sadly, that same year, the Ohio legislature passed a two-year freeze on the clean energy standards that were adopted in 2008.

Our recent battles – from the “freeze” to the proposed consumer bailouts of the state’s least efficient coal plants – have all been defensive; we need to play offense if we want to get back on track.

Clearly state legislators are badly out of step with what most Ohioans want and what benefits our people, our economy and our natural resources. While in place, the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards saved customers over $1 billion, lowered our carbon emissions and spurred investment in Ohio’s clean energy sector, which now employs over 100,000 people. The freeze made us the first state to pause the inevitable transition to renewables. Legislators took another step backwards by passing the most stringent property line setbacks for wind turbines in the country, essentially stopping new wind farms in Ohio.

We’re already feeling the impact. In 2015, Ohio lost 1,400 wind energy jobs and fell from 16th to 29th for solar installations nationwide. That same year, renewables accounted for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s new electric generation.

It’s time to “change the climate” in Ohio, for the better. Over the next five years, we plan to reach out to over 100,000 Ohioans to make clean energy a focus of future elections. Candidates must be educated on the issues and made to connect their support for clean energy to their electability.

We will do that by identifying and following up with pro-clean energy voters to build clean energy districts in which elected officials work with Ohio voters in the fight for clean energy. This is not about influencing the 2016 election or electing more Democrats or Republicans, it’s about making clean energy a priority for our leaders. We all have a stake in this.

What can you do?

  • Write a letter or submit a comment to Governor Kasich and your Ohio legislators urging them to support action on clean energy and climate change. Letters are always best when written in your own words, but here are some points to get you started:
    • Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels lowers the amount of mercury and other toxins released into our air and water
    • It’s time to move away from fossil fuels and transition to a clean energy economy
    • I want Ohio’s elected leaders to take action for our climate, starting with support for investments in renewables and efficiency
    • I support energy efficiency because it lowers my electric bills, and is the cheapest way to reduce our carbon emissions
    • We can build a sustainable economy and protect future generations by investing in clean energy now
  • Check your registration, find your polling place, build a personalized ballot, and more at vote411.org.