Not unexpectedly, Governor Kasich vetoed HB 554 that would have made wind and solar mandates voluntary goals for the next two years. Wind and solar will now be mandated for Ohio ratepayers. We have no doubt that the wind developers will now claim they cannot meet the mandates for wind unless the current setbacks are shortened and property line measurements are thrown out. In response to the Governor’s veto, Senator William Seitz issued a Press Statement blasting Kasich saying, “It is apparent that Governor Kasich cares more about appeasing his coastal elite friends in the renewable energy business than he does about the millions of Ohioans who decisively rejected this ideology when they voted for President-elect Trump. “
Ironically, the environmental community just released an interactive map showing that Ohio is one of the easiest places to source renewable energy if it is desired. With ample supply and easy means to deliver energy choices, it is clear that mandates are not needed. The map notes for Ohio: Electric retail choice programs easily available in this state. These programs allow end-use customers to buy electricity directly from competitive retail suppliers.“ While Kasich based his veto on the need for employers to be able to buy renewable energy, the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers website already considers Ohio a competitive location “where large energy buyers can access the renewable energy they want at the scale they need through their utility.” Companies looking to make location decisions “can use this map to consider siting new facilities and to prioritize their renewable energy purchasing strategies. It highlights green tariff programs and other utility energy products that allow customers to meet their clean energy goals and lower electricity costs. It compares each product to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.”
In other words, Kasich’s rationale for his veto doesn’t hold water. We think Sen. Seitz is on to something with his charge that Kasich cares more about his “coastal elite friends” in the renewable energy business. One of those “friends” is Kasich’s longtime energy advisor, Wilber James of Rockport Capital (http://www.rockportcap.com/team-members/william-e-wilber-james ) the venture capital firm. James’ website describes his commitment to renewables, sustainable initiatives and an energy independent U.S. It also lists Rockport’s many energy investments that would profit by heavy-handed government environmental policies. James was at the Governor’s side in 2011 at The Governor’s 21st Century Energy and Economic Summit. We recall that he owned 7.5% of Solyndra – the poster child for failed renewable initiatives supported by government largess.
We stand ready to support Senator Seitz in the next session of the legislature and look forward the eventual repeal of mandates. Perhaps in a Trump Administration with fewer or no energy subsidies, the notion of government mandates will be “unsustainable”.
Senator Bill Seitz Reacts to Governor’s Veto of House Bill 554
COLUMBUS—State Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) issued the following statement today regarding Governor John Kasich’s veto of Ohio House Bill 554:
This veto disrespects the legislative process that Governor Kasich himself endorsed when he signed our 2014 bill establishing a legislative study commission, whose recommendation was to indefinitely extend the freeze on Ohio’s expensive march up the Obama-Clinton-Strickland alternative energy mandate mountain. More than that, it disrespects the legislature’s attempt in HB 554 to meet Governor Kasich more than halfway by not extending the freeze, but rather, trying a goals-based approach for two years to prove that statist mandates are not necessary to achieve a cleaner energy future.
It is apparent that Governor Kasich cares more about appeasing his coastal elite friends in the renewable energy business than he does about the millions of Ohioans who decisively rejected this ideology when they voted for President-elect Trump. We can only hope that President Trump and his amazing cabinet of free market capitalists will save us from the regulatory overreach of Al Gore-style policies that take unnecessary money out of ratepayers’ pockets. We will do our part by launching a full scale effort next session to totally repeal these Strickland-era mandates. With veto-proof majorities next session, we are optimistic of success.
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Senator Bill Seitz represents the 8th District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses a portion of Hamilton county. Learn more at http://www.OhioSenate.gov/Seitz….
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has vetoed a bill that would have continued a freeze on the state’s renewable energy standards…