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Renewable Energy Standards Put On Hold in Ohio

Ohio can no longer be counted as one of the 29 U.S. states that is working to satisfy its renewable portfolio standard. Yesterday the Ohio general assembly approved a bill to freeze the standards for electricity efficiency and generation from renewable sources.

According to Bloomberg, the measure would delay for two years requirements enacted in 2008 that power companies reduce consumption by 22 percent and produce 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources (12.5 percent) and alternative sources (12.5 percent) by 2025, pushing the requirements out by 2 years. The bill also tosses out the requirment that utilities obtain half of their renewable energy from in-state sources. Officials will study the rules during the freeze. Bloomberg called the vote "the sharpest break from a three-decade campaign by 29 U.S. states.

The Ohio General Assembly is made up of a Republican-controlled House and the measure passed along party lines in a 53-38 vote. The Senate also passed the bill, which will now go to Governor John Kasich who is expected to sign it into law. The bill was widely criticized by environmental groups such as the National Resources Defense Fund, which explained that the bill will create uncertainty in the market, something that will drive investment away from the state.

“At the end of the day, we don’t think it’s good policy,” Representative Peter Stautberg, a Cincinnati-area Republican and chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee, said during debate and quoted by Bloomberg. ‘The free market works.’’

Ted Ford of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, disagrees.  He said in a statement to Bloomberg that “[the freeze] puts in jeopardy hundreds of millions of investment dollars, tens of thousands of jobs and will negatively impact the economy for years to come.” 

Lead image: Freeze via Shutterstock.

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