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Ohio’s green energy mandates need to go, not just be delayed.

0AC4CAFE-77AB-4A14-A577120733E93F52Yesterday, the Ohio Senate passed SB310, which puts a two year pause on the increasing percentage of “renewable” energy sources that must be used or purchased by utility 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.

The sources of energy that we use should be determined by the free market, not government fiat. In many cases, the mandates demand production from sources where there isn’t yet a sufficient supply to meet the mandate.

Wind and solar sources are not yet advanced enough to provide power reliably or at a reasonable cost. If and when they are, the electricity providers will naturally begin to utilize them. That’s how markets work when they aren’t manipulated by government.

Green energy mandates end up raising the cost of electricity for all consumers, which of course, has a negative effect on the economy.

According to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, states with mandates saw a much higher increase in energy costs from 2001-2010 than states without mandates.

That said, our analysis of available data has revealed a pattern of starkly higher rates in most states with RPS mandates compared with those without mandates. The gap is particularly striking in coal-dependent states—seven such states with RPS mandates saw their rates soar by an average of 54.2 percent between 2001 and 2010, more than twice the average increase experienced by seven other coal-dependent states without mandates.

Our study highlights another pattern as well, of a disconnect between the optimistic estimates by government policymakers of the impact that the mandates will have on rates and the harsh reality of the soaring rates that typically result. In some states, the implementation of mandate levels is proceeding so rapidly that residential and commercial users are being locked into exorbitant rates for many years to come. The experiences of Oregon, California, and Ontario (which is subject to a similar mandate plan) serve as case studies of how rates have spiraled.

Ed Fitzgerald says even the 2-year delay is bad and urges Kasich to veto it.

The Senate should’ve passed the original bill. Hopefully, the House will either reinstate the permanent freeze or at least lengthen the 2-year freeze to a longer period.

They have a veto proof majority. Perhaps it’s time they used it.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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