Ohio Businesses Voice Opposition to Repeal of Ohio’s Clean Energy Law
April 11th, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Contact: Ted Ford, Ohio AEE
Columbus, OH – Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (Ohio AEE) and advanced energy business leaders from around the state testified before the Senate Public Utilities Committee on Wednesday in opposition to SB 310, which would terminate Ohio’s clean energy laws.
“SB 310 is being presented as a “freeze” but the bill actually repeals the clean energy standards going forward,” said Ted Ford, President and CEO of Ohio AEE. If passed, the bill “will send a shock wave throughout our state and clearly tell the nation that Ohio is moving backwards.”
Ohio’s clean energy law was reaffirmed and improved in a comprehensive energy policy bill (SB 315) enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor just two years ago. The law requires that renewable energy like wind, solar, and industrial “waste heat recovery” make up 12.5% of Ohio’s electricity generation portfolio by 2025. Current law also requires utilities to be 22% more “efficient” about the use of energy by 2025.
SB 310 would be the death knell for a promising, high growth Ohio industry still in its infancy. Advanced energy in the US is a $169 billion market in 2014, and Ohio could capture a significant share of it if current law is maintained. The law has stimulated the growth of an advanced energy industry in Ohio and the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the state. Some 400 companies employing 25,000 Ohioans make up the industry in Ohio today. Globally, an estimated $38 trillion will be invested in energy in the next 20 years.
“One company alone invested $600 million in a single wind farm, the largest capital investment in the state in 2012,” said Ford. “These projects are attracting global capital and spurring local hiring. It’s a bright spot in the Ohio economy and has huge future potential. Why would we shut that down and let those investments go to other states?”
Ohio’s energy standards have also saved ratepayers money. Studies by Ohio State University and others have shown that ratepayers have saved billions so far and stand to save an additional $4 billion more over the next decade as a result of the standards. Repealing the standards will increase costs for ratepayers by a similar amount and undermine Ohio’s economic competitiveness. This is why the standards are strongly supported by representatives of big energy consumers like the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and Ohio Hospital Association.
On Tuesday, April 8, eleven major Ohio companies, employing almost 30,000 Ohioans, wrote to the Senate President and the sponsor of SB 310, voicing their opposition to the repeal of energy efficiency standards, calling them “critical to the state’s long-term, sustainable growth.”