In this in-depth Energy News Network article, Kowalski covers the upcoming vote on Ohio HB 114 and both the good and bad that would come from the decision. Terrence O'Donnell representing Ohio AEE was quoted. Link to the full article here. Excerpts below:
Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would relax the state’s strict wind turbine setbacks rules but again weaken renewable and energy efficiency standards.
The Ohio Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled Wednesday to discuss House Bill 114, which threatens to roll back the state’s on-again, off-again clean energy standards, which resumed 18 months ago after a 2014 law suspended them for two years.
The bill has drawn criticism from both wind energy opponents and clean energy advocates. It stops short of making renewable energy standards purely voluntary, as in the Ohio House version passed last year. Instead, it would set the top renewable energy standard target at 8.5 percent in 2022, down from the current law’s requirement of 12.5 percent in 2026. The top energy efficiency target would fall from 22.2 percent to 17.2 percent, with more opt-outs and profits for utilities.
Environmental advocates and industry representatives support the substitute bill’s terms to relax the property line setbacks for commercial wind turbines. A 2014 law had tripled the setbacks from prior levels without any public hearings on the issue.
“By easing this burdensome regulation, Ohio could stand to benefit from more than $4 billion in economic development for the state,” said attorney Terrence O’Donnell on behalf of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. “Access to advanced energy is a key consideration for the majority of Fortune 100 and 500 companies when considering where to locate or expand operations, in terms of meeting their sustainability goals.”
Link to the full ENN article here.