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.


Author: Nick

I was born and raised in Ohio. After growing up in the Columbus area, I moved to Cleveland to study at Case Western Reserve University, and have lived in Northeast Ohio ever since. I live in Wellington with my wife and son. I work in the private sector and have never worked in the political field.

6 thoughts on “Ohio’s green energy mandates need to go, not just be delayed.”

  1. The fossil fuel funded Manhattan Institute violates one of the most basic rules of statistics: correlation does not equal causation. Many factors influence electricity prices, and to pin the blame for any increase on renewable energy is deliberately misleading – especially when the facts show otherwise.

    The EIA largely attributes rising electricity prices across the nation over the past two years to increases in spot natural gas prices.

    Analysis by researchers at the Ohio State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show utilies in Ohio are achieving higher levels of renewable at little additional cost, a fraction of a percentage point.

    In other words, we have credible data we need to know Ohio’s renewable energy standard is affordable and working. We do not need dubious disinformation from groups funded by fossil fuel interests that do not want to compete with renewables.

    1. The heavy hand of government should not be forcing us to use energy sources that are not yet affordable. Let the renewable energy sources compete on their own, without the government propping them up.

  2. I’m not sure what Governor Kasich’s intent is but maybe he has a point.

    I do agree it is wrong to have some kind of fixed goal or a mandate for increasing the use of renewable energy to some arbitrary predetermined percentage. I agree that “alternative energy” sources that require subsidies to be competitive are in fact NOT competitive and requiring their use is against the public interest.

    But conserve is the root of conservative so we should realize that it is in our long term interest to save hydrocarbons — if nothing else for chemistry — plastics and medicine. If there is a cost competitive option in renewable and/or less polluting energy option(s) industry should act in the public interest and exploit it.

    So, no to government mandates on percentages — but government should place on the utilities the onus of proving that fossil fuels are required to meet energy production goals and when renewable sources are cost competitive they should be used in lieu of hydrocarbons as the to meet power demands.

    Left on their own experience shows that power utilities do not always act in the consumers in mind so there is a proper role for some form of regulation to serve the public’s interest..

  3. In 1963 there were just over 400 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the entire country and they were placed on the endangered species list. In the last 5 years there have been 67 confirmed kills from wind turbines. Solar panels are frying birds alive as they fly over. Obama has granted these companies a 30 license to kill. Renewables sound great in theory, but these resources are currently extremely expensive and also have a long list of negatives. Forget the liberal propaganda, the facts are that current methods of energy production are cheaper and safer to the entire environment than wind and solar are when simple precautions are enforced. Eliminate those ridiculous green mandates.

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