The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Gov. Kasich Admits Renewables Are the Future, So Why Did He Freeze Ohio's Clean Energy Mandate
At a town hall event in New Hampshire, presidential candidate John Kasich paid lip service to growing a clean energy economy, despite having hindered the growth of Ohio's wind, solar and other renewable energy industries.
It’s no surprise he’s talking about the importance of clean energy on the campaign trail—thousands of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have committed to voting on clean energy and a growing number of Ohioans are doing the same. It’s time for Gov. Kasich to start leading by example and support clean energy at home, not just touting empty rhetoric on the campaign trail.
“In Ohio, we are going to have development of solar and wind,” Gov. Kasich said in New Hampshire. “If the legislature wants to gut it, then I’m going to go back to the goal that we had, which was unpalatable, because I’m not playing around with this.”
On June 13, 2014, Gov. Kasich signed a freeze on clean energy mandates into law. By slowing the growth of clean energy in the state, this bill had far reaching negative consequences to the environment and the economic prosperity of Ohio. The freeze is set to expire at the end of this year and leaders from across the Buckeye State are calling for clean energy solutions.
“As a business owner in Ohio who works in the clean energy sector, I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me by Ohio’s freeze on the renewable energy standards,” Alan Frasz, president of Dovetail Solar and Wind in Cleveland, said. “We were moving toward energy independence in Ohio, but with the dismantling of the renewable energy standards by Gov. Kasich and the legislature, many of those job opportunities have vanished.”
"For the past year, our Ohio legislature has sat back and ignored the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. They have put a deep freeze on our children's future by neglecting to act on climate change,” Rev. Dr. Tim Aherns of First Congregational Church in Columbus said. “Our state leaders can no longer hide behind political excuses to perpetuate this moral failure. Gov. Kasich must stand firm on his recent recognition that Ohio is ready for renewables. We are counting on him to lead the charge."
According to a recent study released by Policy Matters Ohio and NextGen Climate America, in partnership with Green for All and Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, Ohio’s 2014 freeze on energy efficiency standards reduced weatherization efforts by 26 percent—costing Ohio families more on their electricity bills, causing more reliance on payment-assistance plans and creating fewer job opportunities in Ohio’s clean energy economy.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.