Ohio legislators answer BigWind questions with MidWest electric

Wind was on the front page news in the Springfield paper, yesterday, but they left out any mention of Everpower being for sale.  The piece looks like more of a PR attempt to perhaps convince someone that EverPower projects are edging closer to reality.  We are not so sure.    

The more interesting and substantive stories come from the Statehouse and from Sidney.    As the Mandates Study Committee continues to grapple with federal Clean Power Plan issues, some members are concerned about the impacts of a renewable standard.  “…some members, like Rep. Roegner, would like to see the two-year freeze extended beyond 2017, when its set to resume under last year’s energy bill (SB310, 130th General Assembly). “I would not object to that proposal – to extend it temporarily or even more permanently. But I’m not going to say at this point that that is indeed my commendation,” she said. “But I think that should be considered, especially considering the uncertainty around this 111(d) ruling,” she said about the U.S. EPA’s carbon pollution rules, which are expected to be finalized in late summer. Rep. Roegner recalled that Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler told the study committee that there were too many unanswered questions about the draft rules to determine whether or not the state’s alternative energy portfolio would help the state comply.”   

Meanwhile, the Sidney area electrical co-op, Midwest Electric held a breakfast meeting and invited Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, 12th District; Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, 1st District; Rep. Bob Cupp, Lima, 4th District; Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, 84th District; and Rep. Tony Burkley, R-Payne, 82nd District to discuss a number of issues including energy.  Sen. Faber expressed concern about the extra cost to consumers for alternative energy.  Rep. Burkely surprised us by saying that while farmers in Van Wert and Paulding County may benefit from wind, the rest of the state does not.   None of the legislators want to act until more is known about the federal Clean Power Plan and the litigation that will be filed by many states.

 

We can safely say there is much going on surrounding the energy debate in Ohio….

What about? — wind, water and education. Those were the questions asked to five of Ohio’s elected officials during the Midwest Electric’s annual ACRE (Action Committee for Rural Electrification) Day for cooperative members and employees Monday morning.

Present for the breakfast were Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, 12th District; Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, 1st District; Rep. Bob Cupp, Lima, 4th District; Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, 84th District; and Rep. Tony Burkley, R-Payne, 82nd District; along with Marc Armstrong, director of government affairs for Buckeye Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives Inc.

When an audience member asked if wind and solar power in Ohio had failed to live up to its mandates of providing alternate energy sources, Faber said that answer remains to be seen.

“They created a goal for public utilities and trusted it would happen,” said Faber. “During the next couple of weeks, we will be receiving a report that tells how science and technology will create diversity in energy sources.”

Faber said no one knew what the costs would be for wind energy.

“Cooperatives (such as Midwest) uses alternatives which make sense,” said Faber. “Their customers spend $5 to $10 each month to be in compliance with the mandates.”

Faber said he doesn’t want to see customers paying excess amounts each month to meet the mandates.

“We’re trying to get a handle on it,” said Faber….

“Van Wert County is the ‘Wind Capital of Ohio.’” said Burkley whose district includes Van Wert and parts of Auglaize counties. “The people have benefited from Paulding and Van Wert wind power, but at what expense? The farmers have benefited from their property being used.”

He said the companies installing the windmills have taken advantage of the subsidies offered for the program. But, he added, it hasn’t benefited the entire state of Ohio….

Legislators answer wind, water, education questions Midwest Electric holds annual ACRE Day – Sidney Daily News – sidneydailynews.com.

and Statehouse News:

Decision Whether To Extend Clean Energy Freeze Hinges On Federal Carbon Rules

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