Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy

Ohio energy bill hearings begin today, would end rules on efficiency and renewable energy

Levin Furniture in Avon has installed solar panels as part of its green initiatives, proving to some conservative Ohio lawmakers that solar will be built whether or not the state requires power companies to support it. (Plain Dealer file)

CLEVELAND — “Another battle over renewable energy begins today in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Cincinnati Republican lawmaker William Seitz isn’t about to give up his campaign to get rid of the state’s rules requiring power companies to sell a percentage of power generated by wind and solar and to help their customers use less electricity. The rules have been in place since 2008.

Now in the Ohio House because he was term-limited in the Senate, Seitz has scheduled an initial hearing today  before the House Public Utilities Committee, which he chairs, on House Bill 114, introduced last week by Rep. Louis ‘Bill’ Blessing, III, also a Cincinnati Republican.

Blessing has 53 Republican co-sponsors for the bill, and Seitz is confident that lawmakers can over-ride a veto if Gov. John Kasich issues one, as he did in December, killing Senate Bill 320. Seitz had introduced 320, but with only two co-sponsors, it would have made the mandates voluntary for the next two years.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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