Wednesday, the Senate Public Utilities Committee held its second hearing to consider repeal of the Ohio mandate that requires the use of wind and solar. There are three Republicans who we believe stand in the way of passage of this bill: Sen. Hite (Hardin, Auglaize, Van Wert, Paulding and part of Logan); Sen. LaRose (Cleveland area) and Sen. Eklund (Canton area). It was gratifying that many of Sen. Hite’s constituents traveled the distance to Columbus to testify and shameful that he got up and left the hearing and did not listen to one single constituent! Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition Kevon Martis gave compelling testimony but, more important, responded brilliantly to many of the Committee’s questions. Kevon’s testimony can be seen at http://youtu.be/3W3SoUEPVS0 and the questioning begins at 9:23. It is worth watching.
The press coverage was mixed with some included below. Chairman Seitz made two important points during questioning 1) his belief the Ohio mandate is unconstitutional and 2) measurement of setbacks from homes instead of property lines is unheard of in zoning. One point that was made repeatedly was the cost of renewable energy and that it is not right to enforce a mandate that requires Ohioans to pay more for their electricity especially when that type of energy has such low value. Yesterday, the PUCO issued a draft report on the renewable mandate confirming the higher costs of in-state wind and solar.
Finally, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes both had good articles this week and we hope that this mainstream media coverage indicates a growing national rejection of wind….
A bill seeking to eliminate Ohio’s renewable energy mandates got its first hearing of 2014, giving voice to about a dozen people who are against wind power.Senate Bill 34, introduced last year by Sen. Kris Jordan, R-Powell, would eliminate the renewable energy requirements enacted by legislators in 2008.
The bill would remove the requirement that by 2025 electric companies must provide 25 percent of their electricity supply from alternative energy resources. As the Ohio Legislative Service Commission noted in its just-released fiscal note, the bill would repeal the requirement that 12.5 percent of that 25 percent must be from renewable energy.
Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati and chairman of the Senate Public Utilities Committee, denounced mandates. He brushed aside comparisons to mandates and inventions by Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. They, he said, got their inventions because of the free market.
“It was not some Stalinist government mandating, ‘You must buy my stuff,’ ” he said at the hearing.