Yesterday, those who want to keep the current energy efficiency and renewable mandates had their opportunity to testify. There were the usual suspects like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund. There were companies that are subcontractors to the wind developers, like Hull Associates. There were others whose businesses rely on or receive significant profit from the mandates. Some of these were small companies and some were great big ones like Honda and Owens Corning. And of course there was Everpower’s own Mike Speerschneider, accompanied by his Vorys Attorney and Mike Pullins. The Farm Bureau submitted written testimony. All in all there were 23 witnesses who testified in opposition to freezing the mandates. We attach three testimonies from Everpower, the Farm Bureau and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.
It is important to know that those companies that want Ohio’s energy mandates to be eliminated are those on whom significant costs have been placed. As the Columbus Dispatch writes in an article below: “Utilities pay for renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs through special charges that appear on customers’ bills. This ranges from about $5 per month for a typical household to more than $100,000 per month for a large company. Timken, a maker of steel and ball bearings, estimates it will pay $2 million this year.” So why would Honda oppose a bill that would limit or get rid of costly special charges incurred by electricity customers? BECAUSE the rural electric cooperatives in Ohio are EXEMPT from the energy efficiency and renewable mandates and they DO NOT PAY the riders.* Honda is served by the co-ops and does not pay the charges that Timken must pay. And what about Owens Corning? They make the fiberglass used in wind turbine blades as well as some glass used in solar panels. A guaranteed market for their products is more important to them than the health of all Ohio manufacturers and ratepayers.
With respect to Everpower’s Speerschneider testimony, many of the Committee members were gone when he gave his remarks and he was asked only two leading questions by friendly Senators. Speerschneider said he thought the Study Committee established under SB 310 should do its work while the mandates remained in place and active. In the event the mandates were frozen during the study period, he felt the bill ought to provide for their resumption automatically at the conclusion of the Study Committee’s work…
Some of Ohio’s largest and best-known businesses are at odds this week over a proposal that would stop mandated annual increases in “green” energy purchases by utilities.
This includes power produced using renewable resources, such as wind and solar.
The supporters of Ohio Senate Bill 310 include FirstEnergy, Timken Co. and Marathon Petroleum. Opponents include Honda, Whirlpool and Owens Corning….