Ashford: Ohio Legislature Threatens Job Growth With Energy Standard Redo
Bucks leading business movement to renewable energy sources
December 06, 2016
 
[ Michael Ashford Home | Michael Ashford Press ]
 
 

State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 554, saying legislation that changes the state’s energy efficiency standards to unenforceable “goals” through 2019 will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry. 


“HB 554 freezes the state energy efficiency standards, stops peak demand programs, and will reduce economic development in our state,” said Ashford. “Based on utility reports, Ohio’s energy efficiency standards as established in 2007 were on track to save customers four billion in utility costs over the next decade. Approximately fifteen billion has been invested in infrastructure to provide wind and solar power to communities. The passage of HB 554 sends a negative message to investors.” 


Ohio’s energy efficiency standards were originally passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2008. According to various reports, the standards have since saved consumers over $1 billion in energy costs, helped create thousands of jobs in the state’s advanced energy industry, and were on track to reduce an estimated 23 million tons of annual carbon pollution by 2029, helping prevent thousands of lost work days, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature deaths. 


The nation and world’s leading companies are increasingly turning to renewable energy sources to power their businesses. Some of the largest corporate brands – including Apple, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Facebook, General Motors, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and more – have all publicly pledged to procure 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by a certain date in the near future. 


Amazon Web Services, Inc., an Amazon.com subsidiary, recently announced plans to build a $300 million wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio, in addition to their 100-megawatt wind farm in nearby Paulding County that is expected to start producing electricity next May. 


“Our neighboring states like Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania have all increased their energy efficiency requirements,” continued Ashford. “We are very proud that the Ohio State University program is one of the four best football teams in the country; however, we should work on improving our status as the 30th state in the country when it comes to implementing quality requirements for energy efficient programs.” 


Thanks to the state energy efficiency standards, Ohio had an opportunity to position itself as a leader in the burgeoning renewable energy industry. The future of the roughly 7,200 Ohio businesses and approximately 89,000 Ohio workers currently supported by Ohio’s clean energy industry is now uncertain following the passage of SB 554.

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts