The Ohio House of representatives gears up this week to hear testimony on Senate Bill 310. On Tuesday, Senator Balderson will provide sponsor testimony followed by other witnesses in support of the bill. On Wednesday opponents, interested parties and the rest of the world will testify. Speaker of the House, Rep. Bill Batchelder, wants to wrap up passage before Memorial Day. We expect to see every conceivable opponent argument come out in a last ditch effort to derail the bill. We have been on this roller coaster for so long we know anything could happen.
We share a story from the Bellefontaine Examiner where Everpower’s Michael Speerschneider grumbles about the mandate freeze but says, nevertheless, “This doesn’t make it impossible to build if we can find appropriate buyers, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier,” he said.
As we have reported, a significant point in support of repeal of the mandate is the un-Constitutional nature of the in-state mandate. This requires a percentage of wind to be generated inside the state of Ohio even if out of state wind is available and cheaper. This issue has been the subject of litigation in Colorado and in Minnesota. This week in Colorado, a major victory was achieved when a federal court determined that the challengers to the Colorado mandate had “standing” to bring a lawsuit. Often, those who seek to protect mandates will argue that opponents do not have a right – or the legal standing – to sue. In this case, reported May 5th by E&E Legal, “The Court has recognized that the Colorado RES harms interstate Commerce,” said David W. Schnare, E&E Legal’s General Counsel and lead attorney in the case. “Next he will decide whether that damages not only citizens’ pocket books, but the Constitutional rights of our citizens, our businesses and the States that surround Colorado. A decision in favor of E&E Legal’s constitutional argument would follow other recent, similar Federal Court decisions and would lay the cornerstone to building a national effort to challenge the constitutionality of renewable standards in the other twenty-nine states with similar statutes.”…
Legislation that moved in the Ohio Senate this week could have a potential impact on EverPower Wind Holdings’ plans to develop local projects….
EverPower has wind developments pending construction in Hardin, Logan and Champaign counties and the company official said a large part of their development hinges on finding buyers. “This doesn’t make it impossible to build if we can find appropriate buyers, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier,” he said.
While it displeases alternative energy producers, environmentalists, manufacturers and citizen groups like the local Fight the Wind organization approve of the Senate’s decision. “We are pleased with Senate Bill 310 and its progress through the gauntlet of political barriers to its passage,” Tom Stacy of Fight the Wind wrote in an email. “But this bill is not the end-all for wind or any other renewables. It doesn’t prohibit anything. It just relaxes the rate at which the government is forcing the contrived market for intermittent, undependable, low value sources like wind to grow.
The decision, he said, shows wind developers’ over-reliance on government regulations in their business plans. “EverPower’s admission that SB310 progress puts their Ohio projects at a standstill is case in point to the reality that wind electricity is not sustainable, not affordable and not a good enough mousetrap to capture market share without mandates — even with all the subsidies they receive otherwise,” Mr. Stacy wrote….