Last year, we told you about Senate Bill 310, which froze at 2.5% the renewable energy mandate imposed on power companies in Ohio.
Current law, passed in 2008, states that electricity suppliers must generate 12.5% of their power from renewable sources by 2025, with the 2014 requirement being 2.5%. SB310 would delay that mandate for just two years.
They should be eliminated or frozen completely, and that’s what the bill originally did. But Governor Kasich requested changes.
This is a mistake.
I favor “all of the above” energy, but each different source of energy should each have to compete on its own merit in the marketplace. At this point in time, renewable sources such as wind and solar are much more expensive and less reliable than traditional sources like coal and natural gas.
When governments force power companies to use more expensive sources, it naturally increases cost for everyone who uses electricity, including residences and businesses.
Senate Bill 310 also created a joint legislative committee to study the issue. It was reported last week that the committee is recommending that the mandate level be frozen at the current 2.5% indefinitely. Kasich approved the 2-year pause and the creation of the study committee.
But now that the committee has reported its findings, he wants to ignore them.
Governor Kasich reacted immediately to the recommendations, declaring that letting the free market work was “unacceptable”.
On the very same day, a new “conservative” group made its debut announcement. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum will apparently advocate for letting the mandates continue to increase again.
OCEF presents itself as a group of grassroots conservatives who organized themselves because they love green energy. However, the group consists almost entirely of close Kasich allies and appointments. In fact, its Executive Director is also the State Director for Kasich’s presidential campaign. It’s plainly obvious that OCEF is a Kasich administration creation whose purpose is to convince people that government mandates are conservative.
However, we found that in 2013, Kasich agreed with us about the harm that mandates to use more expensive energy can do to an economy.
We support everything. We support renewables. We support coal. We support natural gas. Think of it as you having your own personal investment account. You want diversity, you want everything.
But you can’t set a date, by government people, who don’t really know that much about how the system works, and say we’re gonna be at X place.
It’s like telling you that you need to go out and run a seven minute mile, during your marathon. First of all, you don’t even run a marathon, and secondly, you couldn’t run a seven minute mile if your life depended on it.
And what we do by just mandating these things, is we put some people who are in manufacturing in a very difficult position. You drive up their costs, and you put people out of work.
Governor Kasich himself said that imposing these mandates on the market will harm manufacturing and put people out of work.
So why does he, as a government person, now want to further mandate these things?