Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy

Ohio lawmakers’ energy mandates study critically flawed: Gabe Elsner (Opinion)

An urban wind farm sprouted along Lake Erie on an old Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna, New York. An Ohio Energy Mandates Study Committee has recommended an indefinite freeze of Ohio's alternative energy standards. (David Duprey, Associated Press, File, 2007)

An urban wind farm sprouted along Lake Erie on an old Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna, New York. An Ohio Energy Mandates Study Committee has recommended an indefinite freeze of Ohio’s alternative energy standards. (David Duprey, Associated Press, File, 2007)

CLEVELAND — “…the analysis done by Strata Policy uses a statistical trick to inflate the economic impacts of renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Strata’s authors used a model of analysis that considers the economic conditions from four years before to four years after the enactment of the policy to determine the impact. Coincidentally, many RPS policies were adopted in the years prior to the Great Recession in 2008. As a result, Strata extrapolates huge economic impacts that are the result of the Great Recession, not of RPS policies like Ohio’s AEPS. Strata forgets lesson number one in statistics: Correlation is not causation. If Strata compared the results of its analysis to another state without an RPS, it would see relatively little impact on the economy. DBL Investors performed an analysis on the impact of renewable portfolio standards on electricity prices and found no significant impact.

Any effort to weaken or eliminate the AEPS should rely on credible, third-party sources, not special interests and front groups. Each of the five pieces of testimony that advocated against the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards before the EMSC came from special interests tied to the fossil fuel or utility industry. Front groups, like Strata Policy and the Buckeye Institute, and utility interests that have a direct financial stake in ending the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards should not be considered unbiased sources to justify eliminating Ohio’s AEPS.”

— Gabe Elsner, executive director of the Washington, D.C.,-based Energy & Policy Institute, guest column, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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