Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs Nation's First Renewable Energy Freeze

Business

It took two weeks, but now it's official—Ohio is the nation's first state to roll back renewable energy standards.

After the state House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 310 in May, Gov. John Kasich signature was all that was missing to ensure Ohio's clean-energy fall from grace. The standards—first passed in 2008 and reauthorized two years ago—previously required the state's utilities to sell more solar and wind energy each year and charged them with finding efficiency solutions for their customers. Kasich's signing means the standards are put on hold until 2017, when a committee formed by the bill's passage could agree to permanently freeze them.

Kasich signed the bill Friday without any comment to the media, The Plain Dealer reported.

John Kasich signed a bill on Friday that freezes renewable energy for at least two years. Video screenshot: JohnKasich2010/YouTube

"Dirtier air. Higher electric bills. Lost jobs and investment. These are the new 'dividends' in store for Ohio from this major divestiture in clean energy," said Trish Demeter, managing director of Energy and Clean Air Programs for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC).

Groups like the American Wind Energy Association made a late push for Kasich to veto the bill, but they had no such luck. They tried reminding the governor of success stories like the Blue Creek Wind Farm, spread across two counties and six townships in Northwest Ohio. In February, Iberdrola Renewables presented $2.7 million worth of checks to two communities to commemorate the first of the annual payments in lieu of taxes for the state's largest wind farm. In all, environmental groups like the OEC estimate that consumers have saved a combined $1 billion on their bills over the life of the standards, while others say the standards have brought in $1 billion in investment commitments.

“With this legislation, Gov. Kasich is moving the state backwards while monopoly utilities like FirstEnergy and AEP will see even greater profits," Sierra Club campaign representative Daniel Sawmiller said in a statement. "Ohioans can now expect higher electricity bills, fewer jobs in the clean energy manufacturing and construction industries, and increased pollution.

"Gov. Kasich promised Ohioans he would protect Ohio families, create Ohio jobs, and champion clean energy technologies. By signing this devastating bill, he has decided to ignore the health and economic interests of everyday Ohioans in favor of big corporations. We need Gov. Kasich to be strong on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green jobs to move Ohio forward.”

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less
Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less
Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

Read More Show Less