The Speaker of the House and Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives recently finalized their appointment of State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) to the Ohio House Energy Mandates Study Committee. The committee was created as a part of Senate Bill 310, a law that addressed renewable and advanced energy sources.


According to Rep. Cera, SB 310 freezes for two years state-required renewable energy and solar energy requirements that were created in 2008. The 2008 law required utility companies to start utilizing renewable energy and developing programs to help customers use less energy through efficiency upgrades. SB 310 also created the joint House and Senate study committee to further review these standards and to make recommendations to the General Assembly.


“This is an important issue where I believe my experience on the House Public Utilities Committee will prove useful. We have to move forward carefully and keep the process transparent so that we include all viewpoints. We must strive to keep rates affordable for industrial, commercial and residential rate payers while assuring reliable energy sources,” said Rep. Cera.


The question of what to do about the renewable and energy efficiency standards has been a sometimes contentious debate over the past few years, with major business groups and manufacturers split on the issue. Utility companies supported the law. Environmental groups and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel oppose the elimination of the standards. The committee will once again try to work through the issue to come up with an energy plan that makes sense for all of Ohio.


“I believe it is important that the committee look beyond just renewables and energy efficiency issues and look at the issue of deregulation and how it has impacted the future of power plants in Ohio. Currently both AEP and First Energy have cases before the PUCO and I want to make sure that both the Sammis and Cardinal plants in Jefferson County are able to remain as part of the electric production for both companies. They both provide reliable coal-based electricity needed for Ohio,” stated Rep. Cera.


Legislative changes will be recommended after a careful review of Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards has taken place. The committee must present a report to the General Assembly no later than September 30, 2015.


 

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Rep. Jack Cera To Host Public Town Hall In Martins Ferry

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) will host a Town Hall meeting Thursday, August 9, from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Martins Ferry Library. Cera will be on hand to take questions and update constituents in the 96th House District about efforts to bring oil and gas money back to Eastern Ohio, investing in infrastructure and local communities and his push to eliminate corruption and waste in state agencies. The event is free and open to the public.



 
 

State Lawmakers Support Retired Workers, Fight To Save Pensions

 

As workers and retirees from across the nation gathered on the Ohio Statehouse lawn today to speak out for pension protections for hundreds of thousands of retired American workers, Ohio House Democratic lawmakers spoke out in support of American retirees and urged the Ohio legislature to take up legislation, House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 8, that would urge members of congress to protect coal miner pensions.



 
 

Cera Supports Retired School Employees, Asks State Board To Rethink Administrative Raises At Retirees' Expense

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced he sent a letter to Richard Stensrud, executive director of the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, asking him to rethink the recent decision to cut cost-of-living pay to SERS Pension holders while giving SERS administrators a three-percent pay increase.



 
 

Legislature Casts Favorable Vote On Fishing And Wildlife Licenses

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the unanimous passage of Senate Bill (SB) 257, bipartisan legislation that streamlines the licensing process for Ohio’s sportsmen and women. SB 257 is companion legislation to HB 518, which Rep. Cera introduced earlier this year.