Will Ohio SB310 begin a ‘domino’ effect to repeal BigWind mandates?

Today will be a busy day as around 30 witnesses will testify in the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee concerning Senate Bill 310.  Today’s Columbus Dispatch reports that the bill may spark a national movement toward repealing mandates for renewable energy.  Americans for Prosperity has thrown their support behind the bill. 

The Urbana Daily Citizen reports that two appeals were rejected by the Ohio Power Siting Board.  Both appeals were directed toward Everpower projects: Buckeye Wind and Scioto Ridge.  In Scioto Ridge, the citizens were trying to address the fact that they had no real opportunity to  register objections to the project because most are summer people in the Indian Lake area.  Everpower waited until after Labor Day when they were gone, to hold a public hearing.   In Champaign County, the County and Townships had objected to amendments in the Buckeye I project that moved the staging area further to the east and made modifications to roads and underground lines.  Today, one of the witnesses who will testify  in support of Senate Bill 310 is a County Engineer who has similar concerns about damage to local infrastructure that may be beyond the County’s financial ability to repair…

Ohio is on the cusp of becoming the first state to significantly ease its renewable-energy standards, a milestone that would be noticed in statehouses across the country where similar debates are being waged.

Proposals have gained traction in Kansas and several other states and have at least been introduced in a dozen or so others.

But none has had as much success as Ohio’s Senate Bill 310, which has passed the Senate and appears poised to pass the House as soon as this week.

The Ohio bill would place a two-year freeze on annual increases in standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency. It also would repeal a rule that says utilities must buy half of their renewable energy from in-state sources and would make it easier for utilities to buy low-cost hydroelectric power and count it toward the standards.

Many of the same groups with an interest in the subject are active in multiple states. The American Wind Energy Association, Sierra Club and others are fighting to maintain rules that say utilities must obtain a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources. Meanwhile, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity are helping to push for change in the rules….

via If Ohio eases green-energy rules, will it spark national trend? | The Columbus Dispatch.

Shame on you, Senator Rob Portman!

Shame on you, Rob Portman, of Ohio! He caved and supported the BigWind handout. Do you know him? If so, please call him and share your disappointment…

Republicans claim they are unable to roll back anti-free market policies with their limited control of the federal government. But one would expect them to block renewals of bad policies once they have expired.

Last year, Congress allowed the wind energy subsidy (Production Tax Credit) to expire, along with dozens of other targeted market-distorting “tax extender” pork provisions. Evidently, not being able to take yes for an answer, some Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee helped Democrats pass these special interest subsidies.

All conservatives agree that we need to lower the tax burden on businesses and individuals who actually pay taxes, but it is important that we differentiate between tax cuts and subsidies. Tax cuts take the form of universal reductions in net taxes for those individuals and entities that actually incur a positive tax liability. Targeted or parochial credits (and certainly refundable credits) for specific industries, products, or services–especially those who pay little or no taxes–are nothing but subsidies and corporate welfare….

The most egregious of the tax extenders are the energy subsidies. Most of these industries, particularly Big Wind, make little or no profit, offer the public no investments, and pay no taxes, yet their productivity is almost completely subsidized. The 2.2 cent per kilowatt-hour production tax credit is by far the most offensive of the credits. The Heritage Foundation estimates that if the oil industry received a commensurate subsidy, they would get a $30 dollar check for every barrel produced. This refundable credit is the corporate equivalent of the Earned Income Credit and is woefullydistorting of the energy market….

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) did propose an amendment to eliminate all of the energy subsidies within the package, but it only garnered the support of five other Republicans–Senators Burr, Enzi, Hatch, Isakson, and Roberts. Democrats voted down the amendment, along with support from GOP Senators Grassley, Crapo, Cornyn, Thune, and Portman. Ultimately, the underlying bill was adopted unanimously by voice vote…

via Green Energy Subsidies Pass Senate Finance Committee by Voice Vote.