Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy / Renewable Energy

GOP voters support green energy, oppose coal, nuclear bailouts, statewide poll finds

CLEVELAND — “Conservative Ohio voters, whether Independent or Republican, are tired of utilities asking for special charges for coal and nuclear power plants, support mandatory energy-efficiency programs, favor home solar systems and are willing to pay higher monthly bills for renewable energy.

These are findings in a poll commissioned by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum reveal grassroot attitudes are at odds with the speeches and actions of GOP legislative leaders during the past several years.

GOP lawmakers have repeatedly tried to kill state renewable standards, only to see Gov. John Kasich veto the legislation. Republican leadership has also tried to create extra charges on behalf of utilities that own old coal and nuclear power plants and find it difficult to compete with wind farms and gas turbine power plants.

…Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, who did not see the poll but has sponsored a bill to amend the state’s current restrictive wind turbine property setback rules, said he thinks voter support for wind and solar will be even stronger “when the economics of moving toward renewables are revealed.

‘When you talk to CEOs today, they are asking about your taxes, workforce development, regulations and energy. And they have added a question about energy. It used to be just about reliability. Now it’s about source, where is the energy coming from.

‘What this poll helps me be able to argue is that this is no longer a political issue. This is the direction of our state, where we need to invest.'”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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