Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Why Ohio's Budget Update Will Further Crush Renewable Energy

Business
Why Ohio's Budget Update Will Further Crush Renewable Energy

Fresh off signing the nation's first renewable energy freeze, Ohio Gov. John Kasich approved a biennial budget update that could further damage the state's ability to harness electricity alternatives.

Amid various tax cuts, House Bill 483 contains language requiring wind turbines to be about 1,300 feet from a property line as opposed to previous regulations that required a turbine to be the same amount from a home. Environmental and clean energy advocates say Kasich's refusal to veto that language from the bill could be the final blow that crushes the state's renewable energy sector.

An update to Ohio's budget bill could prove deadly for the state's wind energy sector.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

“Gov. Kasich has walked away from his commitment to renewable energy," Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement. "He and the Legislature are creating an unfriendly business environment in Ohio.

“Legislators rammed through restrictive rules without due process, and millions of dollars already invested based on the previous set of rules may now be lost without any public debate. This will force clean energy developers and manufacturers to move to neighboring states with similar resources and friendlier business climates.”

Kiernan said the passage kills about $2.5 billion in wind energy plans, including jobs, leases, payments to local governments, and factory orders. He charges that the section damaging wind energy was added to the budget bill after public debate. According to AWEA, Gabriel Alonso, CEO of EDP Renewables North America, wrote a letter to Kasich stating that the change would make wind energy "commercially unviable."

The company’s Timber Road project represents a $200 million investment in Paulding County along with another $800 million of investment planned in Ohio, “all of which would be devastated by this provision,” Alonso said.

"Right-wing lawmakers handed wind energy a death sentence by adding in this setback provision into the [budget bill] at the 11th hour," said Trish Demeter, managing director of energy and clean air programs for the Ohio Environmental Council. "Gov. Kasich could have 'commuted' this death penalty for wind energy, but instead he chose to look the other way.

"Gov. Kasich's quiet approval of this reckless assault—in addition to his signature on SB 310—speaks volumes about his true position on Ohio’s clean energy economy."

Demeter now fears that wind energy projects will be headed to neighboring states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“While much of the country is moving toward investing more in cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, Ohio has taken two giant steps back to secure its place as a loser in the clean energy sector," she said. "Our state has now made clear to clean energy technology companies that they’re not wanted here and that their investment can go to other states."

 

Kevin Russ / Moment / Getty Images

By Kang-Chun Cheng

Modoc County lies in the far northeast corner of California, and most of its 10,000 residents rely on cattle herding, logging, or government jobs for employment. Rodeos and 4-H programs fill most families' calendars; massive belt buckles, blue jeans, and cowboy hats are common attire. Modoc's niche brand of American individualism stems from a free-spirited cowboy culture that imbues the local ranching conflict with wild horses.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Christian Aslund / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Anne-Sophie Brändlin

COVID-19 and climate change have been two of the most pressing issues in 2020.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Artist's impression of an Othalo community, imagined by architect Julien De Smedt. Othalo

By Victoria Masterson

Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brett Wilkins

Despite acknowledging that the move would lead to an increase in the 500 million to one billion birds that die each year in the United States due to human activity, the Trump administration on Friday published a proposed industry-friendly relaxation of a century-old treaty that protects more than 1,000 avian species.

Read More Show Less
U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less