The long awaited Energy Mandate Study Committee report was released today. Essentially, the report calls for:
1. Extending the SB 310 Freeze indefinitely.
2. Providing an Expedited Process at the PUCO for the Review of New Utility Plans for Energy Efficiency
3. Investigate and Ensure Maximum Credit for all of Ohio’s Energy Initiatives
4. Switch from Energy Mandates to Energy Incentives
5. Declare that the General Assembly Retains Statutory Authority with Respect to Energy Policy and Dispatch Protocols
Soon after the release of the Report, Governor Kasich pronounced it “Unacceptable”. An alleged “conservative” group called the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum popped up to support the Governor’s position. This new group has come from out of the blue more or less and represents itself as speaking for a variety of conservative interest groups. The OCEF board and their biographies are attached. They include Mike Gonidakis of Ohio Right to Life, Terry McClure a Paulding County Farmer with interests in the wind business, Tyler Duvelius Energy Director of the Christian Coalition, James Ervin, head of Black Republicans and a number of other “Republicans”. The politics of this group was likely formed to help shield the Governor from attack by environmentalists in his run for the Presidency. We can guarantee these folks don’t know a thing about energy policy.
The true conservatives at the Buckeye Institute, who have been participating in the study process all along, also issued a press release which is reprinted below. Buckeye asks why Ohio would want to return to the failed policies of the Strickland Administration? Well….that certainly sets up some interesting political dilemmas as former Gov. Strickland, with Hillary Clinton at his side, takes on US Senator Rob Portman in the upcoming election. In the meantime, Jeb Bush has come out with his energy policy which is the “real deal” from a Republican standpoint. Bush announced “His energy platform focuses on four key areas, including repealing the 1970s-era oil export ban and easing restrictions for natural gas exports as well as terminating the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Bush’s proposal also names approval of the Keystone XL pipeline as a priority, along with giving states and Native American tribes greater control over energy production on public lands. “Energy is not just a sector of our economy. It is also an input into every other economic sector,” Bush said.
There will be much more to report as the days go by and the “silly season” of electoral politics progresses. All we can say is it looks like one fine MESS….
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2015
Contact: Joe Nichols (614) 224-4422
The Buckeye Institute Praises Legislative Study Committee Recommendation to Freeze Alternative Energy Mandates
COLUMBUS, OHIO–The Buckeye Institute’s energy policy expert today praised a special legislative committee’s recommendation that the General Assembly indefinitely freeze Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates.
However, the free market think tank expressed serious concern about Gov. John Kasich’s statement that he might not support the recommended freeze on the alternative energy mandates, also known as Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.
“Ohioans would experience higher energy prices and weaker economic growth if these mandates remain,” said Joe Nichols, the Institute’s William & Helen Diehl Energy and Transparency Fellow. “The government should not be picking winners and losers, which hurts Ohioans who can afford it the least — poor and middle class families, minorities, and those who live on fixed incomes. Reintroducing mandates also makes it more difficult for companies to create jobs in Ohio.”
On the governor’s indication that he may not support the committee’s recommended indefinite freeze, Robert Alt, President and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, said: “We shouldn’t return to the policy mistakes of the Strickland administration by embracing another costly government mandate.”
The energy mandates force Ohio utilities to buy increasing amounts of renewable energy and implement energy efficiency programs. The bipartisan, bicameral Energy Mandates Study Committee heard testimony from The Buckeye Institute about how these mandates negatively impact the state’s economy and energy production.
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BACKGROUND: The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions was founded in 1989 as an independent research and educational institution-a think tank-to formulate and promote free-market solutions for Ohio’s most pressing public policy problems.
The Buckeye Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit, and tax-exempt organization, as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. As such, it relies on support from individuals, corporations, and foundations who share a commitment to free enterprise, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. The Buckeye Institute does not seek or accept government funding.