Ohio Legislator follows the $ and calls out Honda for bullying competition

Senator Seitz

Whether or not you approve of Senator Seitz’ politics, you must give him credit for the unabashed COURAGE he displays when he is passionate about something. He is a bulldog in a fight!

The day after the Senate’s momentous vote to freeze the renewable mandate, the political machinations are gearing up.   Democratic candidate for Governor, Ed Fitzgerald issued a statement saying he would make renewable energy the central issue of his campaign.   Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder issued a statement saying he would seek to pass the mandate freeze before summer recess.  The Governor issued a joint statement with Senate President Faber saying that renewable energy would remain important and the standards would not be repealed but merely fixed.   In the meantime, the Chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee where the bill will be heard starting next week was not re-elected.    Chaos!

 The Columbus Dispatch continued its lopsided coverage and attacked Senator Seitz for criticizing Honda during the deliberations for the bill.  Honda was a strong opponent of the freeze and Senator Seitz pointed out that Honda is not subject to the mandates because they are served by the rural electric system.  Further, Honda uses taxpayer subsidy.  Both of these things put Honda at a competitive advantage over other automobile manufacturers.  Winners and losers.  Even Honda wants to preserve an unfair system.  Tom Stacy comments on today’s Dispatch article are printed below.  They are excellent and point out that by keeping the MW size of their project below the threshold of regulation by the OPSB, Honda was able to site the project in a way that may be dangerous to the community….

In debate that stretched into early yesterday, Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, called out Honda for its opposition to Senate Bill 310, a two-year freeze on annual increases in state standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Honda buys most of their electric from a rural electric cooperative,” he said during a lively floor speech. “Guess what? Rural electric cooperatives are not subject to the mandates. So they get to buy their electric without having to pay for the mandates. And by keeping the mandates, they are able to disadvantage their competitors, GM, Ford and Chrysler, who buy from investor-owned utilities that are subject to the mandates.

“Follow the money,” he concluded….

Comments following article:

While East Liberty is indeed on the border of Logan County Rural Electric and DP&L territory, the longest standing and main Honda Campus in Marysville (where the Accord is built) is served by Union County Rural Electric Cooperative.

The energy-intensive Honda Transmission facility at Russells Point, OH is situated in Logan County Rural Electric Cooperative’s territory. Even though that facility isn’t subject to the mandate, Honda partnered with a wind developer and built the two longest-bladed wind turbines in the state on its Transmission plant campus.

The project nameplate capacity conveniently falls just below the threshold above which the PUCO’s Ohio Power Siting Board would have had jurisdiction over its placement. Delivery and construction were RUSHED late last year in order to beat the expiration of the Federal Production Tax Credit for wind which expired at the end of last year – another tax break for them that the rest of us pay for.

OPSB would have never allowed those 420 ft. tall machines with their 160 ft long blades to be constructed within 200 ft. of a public road and within 300 ft. of a non-participating property the way the local township trustees and zoning board did through a zoning variance. But what could the local zoning folks say to the employer of far more people than live in its township when they wanted to go against turbine manufacturer and state minimum guidelines for safety? Not much.

While only MOST of Honda’s facilities are served by cooperatives, Dan, Honda also BENEFITS from the mandates by adding these enormous wind conversion machines on a poorly selected site. People living and boating on Indian Lake now must gaze at these monstrosities from everywhere on the lake, while 176 of them are proposed for Logan and Hardin Counties just east of the lake by Everpower renewables – an aggressive UK owned investment house interested in greening their portfolio far more than the environment.

As for Honda, even their corporate public image statement shows they are more interested in a green image than green results. Before they pulled the trigger on the project company executives asked to meet with me to find out what kind of public opposition might arise. I told them I hoped the public would object to the fact that Honda had chosen a very expensive means of reducing their carbon footprint and at taxpayer and lakefront property owners’ expense. The community did not rise to object to Honda so I didn’t either, even though I live at the opposite end of the same county.

I am really growing weary of the Dispatch continually slanting their news on this topic to criticize the brave legislators who are looking out for Ohio ratepayer and job holders’ best interests. There is really good news here for Ohio’s future and I’d like to see the Dispatch recognize that in some of their articles rather than distracting the public off topic by highlighting trivial matters such as how much of Honda’s electricity is subject to mandates.

2014-05-09 07:28:14.0

 

via Legislator takes swipe at Honda in green-energy debate | The Columbus Dispatch.

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