As 2016 came to a close, Republican Gov. John Kasich stopped legislation that would have kept the state’s renewable energy mandates from taking effect for two years. Instead, they are set to kick in this year.
Now state Rep. Bill Seitz is trying to remove these highly costly regulations completely.
Ohio’s renewable portfolio standards require utility companies to obtain an expanding part of their electricity from other renewable sources like wind and solar. By 2025, 12.5 percent of utilities energy must be produced from renewable sources. Penalties are imposed financially if the mandate has failed to be met. Ohio utilities companies at this point derive 2.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
The Ohio Legislature put a two-year pause on the mandates in 2014 while the newly formed Energy Mandates Study Committee contemplated whether or not Ohio should bring them back. After much careful deliberation they suggested legislators should suspend indefinitely Ohio’s portfolio standards, the Legislature received by Kasich’s desk a measure that would have stopped it’s implementation until 2019.
Kasich shut down the bill just two days after the Christmas holiday. In a statement that was released with the veto, Governor Kasich said “Ohio cannot afford to take a step backward on the economic gains that we have made in recent years … and arbitrarily limiting Ohio’s energy generation options amounts to self-inflicted damage to both our state’s near and long-term economic competitiveness.”
In reply, Seitz hopes to bring forth legislation this session that would push Ohio’s renewable energy target deadline out to 2027 and make it a voluntary goal as opposed to a state mandate. These alterations will for the most part effectively abolish Ohio’s renewable portfolio standards.
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