Ohio renewable energy mandates ‘may’ become voluntary goals

This week a Senate Committee heard five hours of testimony and a House Committee suffered through seven hours. Both the House and Senate committees were coming down the home stretch of a five year deliberation on the renewable mandates that would force Ohio consumers, business and industry to buy wind, solar and whatever else is defined as renewable. Governor Kasich has continuously threatened to veto any legislation that continues the freeze on the renewable mandate. It appears the “compromise” will be to turn the mandates into voluntary goals for the next three years.

Yesterday, the House Public Utilities Committee voted to approve House Bill 554 turning mandates into goals. It will go to the House floor next week. The timeframe is tight in the event the House and Senate approve slightly different bills and would need to go to a Conference Committee to iron out differences. It is a race against the clock as the Senate is slated to adjourn on December 8th.

During the House Public Utilities Committee hearings Rep. Kent Smith, a Democrat from Euclid offered an amendment to allow local government to establish their own setbacks for wind. A number of witnesses in both the House and Senate hearings requested that the current property line setbacks be revised and reduced. In the Senate hearings, Senator Seitz told the witnesses that the bill under consideration has nothing to do with the issue of setbacks and testimony on the subject was out of place. The setback issue is going to come back in the next General Assembly….

A proposal that critics say would weaken the clean-energy standards has won approval from an Ohio House panel, but Gov. John Kasich said the measure may send the wrong message about the state.

However, he stopped short of saying whether he would veto the bill.

House Bill 554 was voted out of the House Public Utilities Committee today. It is heading to the House floor for debate early next week, sponsors said. There would be just a few days to pass the House and Senate in order to reach the governor’s desk before the end of legislative session….

Source: Kasich no fan of proposal weakening clean-energy standards