Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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."

 

This fall brings three new environmental movies. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet | Official Trailer

This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice walk out and rally at the company's headquarters to demand that leaders take action on climate change in Seattle, Washington on Sept. 20, 2019. JASON REDMOND / AFP via Getty Images

The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Moms Clean Air Force members attend a press conference hosted by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announcing legislation to ban chlorpyrifos on July 25, 2017. Moms Clean Air Force

The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a risk assessment for toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos Tuesday that downplayed its effects on children's brains and may be the first indication of how the administration's "secret science" policy could impact public health.

Read More Show Less
Evacuees wait to board a bus as they are evacuated by local and state government officials before the arrival of Hurricane Laura on August 26, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Maria Trimarchi and Sarah Gleim

If all the glaciers and ice caps on the planet melted, global sea level would rise by about 230 feet. That amount of water would flood nearly every coastal city around the world [source: U.S. Geological Survey]. Rising temperatures, melting arctic ice, drought, desertification and other catastrophic effects of climate change are not examples of future troubles — they are reality today. Climate change isn't just about the environment; its effects touch every part of our lives, from the stability of our governments and economies to our health and where we live.

Read More Show Less
In 'My Octopus Teacher,' Craig Foster becomes fascinated with an octopus and visits her for hundreds of days in a row. Netflix

In his latest documentary, My Octopus Teacher, free diver and filmmaker Craig Foster tells a unique story about his friendship and bond with an octopus in a kelp forest in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been labeled "the love story that we need right now" by The Cut.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch