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Letter to the editor: Senate Bill 310 a hit to industry

Frank Towns stands near the wind turbine he installed at his home April 9, 2010, in Louisville, Ohio. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Frank Towns stands near the wind turbine he installed at his home April 9, 2010, in Louisville, Ohio.
Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Letter to the editor:

In May 2008, Ohio Senate Bill 221 passed, requiring that 12.5 percent of Ohio’s energy portfolio would be from renewable energy by 2024 and that we would reduce our energy consumption by 22 percent by 2025. Additionally, at least half of the renewable energy had to be sourced from Ohio. This goal was being accomplished through annual benchmarks and requirements, increasing our renewable energy standards incrementally each year. But June 13, Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 310 into law.

SB310 freezes our renewable energy and energy efficiency standards for two years, setting us back from attaining our goal as dictated in the 2008 legislation. SB310 also provides an easier opt-out to large industrial users. Companies are required to file a report every 24 months, providing a description of their energy reductions, but there is no method of verification other than trusting the company’s word, and all submitted information is confidential, according to Green Energy Ohio News Magazine.

The bill also expands the definition of renewable energy and energy efficiency, including but not limited to the fact that “renewable energy resources do not have to be converted to electricity in order to be eligible to receive renewable energy credits.”

SB310 has significant economic impacts as well. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, SB221 has created 25,000 jobs in the renewable energy industry and saved Ohio ratepayers $1 billion since 2008. In the wake of SB310, the solar industry has slowed dramatically and solar renewable energy credits in Ohio tanked to $20-$30 from $60-$70, according to Midwest Energy News. SB310 will result in the loss of thousands of Ohioans’ jobs and a severe hit to the market and an industry in which we desperately need to advance.

Kylie Tien
Second-year in international studies and public affairs
[email protected]

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