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Ohio lawmakers should follow the lead of the business community and support clean energy

Ohio lawmakers should follow the lead of the business community and support clean energy

As the Ohio Senate considers House Bill 114, a proposal that would dismantle the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, lawmakers should consider the significant opportunities for clean energy investment in the Buckeye State.

In September, General Motors announced it would power its Ohio manufacturing plants in Toledo, Parma, Lordstown, and Defiance entirely with wind energy in 2018. In August, Facebook announced its new $750 million data center in New Albany will also be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. These new clean energy investments are just the beginning of what is possible in Ohio.

Ohio’s corporate clean energy investments are made possible in part because of renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. These clean energy standards were reinstated in January 2017, with the support of Ohio businesses and employers. However, they are once again under threat with House Bill 114, a bill that would weaken the state’s standards and create prolonged uncertainty for businesses.

Ohio’s wind energy setback restrictions are also hindering the ability of businesses to access cost-effective renewable energy. Lifting this barrier to wind energy development through proposals such as Senate Bill 188 will make Ohio more attractive to new investments and help the state capture new jobs and tax revenues.

Gov. John Kasich understands that keeping the state open to renewable energy development is critical to drawing businesses to Ohio. The governor recently said, “it is critical that we continue developing the renewables, because, believe me, at the end of the day, if the Facebooks and the Googles and the PayPals and the Amazons think that we are not committed to renewable energy, they will not come here. Period, end of story.”

 

Wind turbines are an increasingly common sight as commercial wind farms proliferate.

Source:  Columbus Business Journal

 

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