Via EcoWatch, Cleveland City Council last night unanimously approved an emergency ordinance aimed to support renewable energy resources in the area and to encourage Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly to uphold 2008’s clean energy portfolio and energy efficiency standards, now under legislative review.
Ohio’s clean energy standards, enacted by Senate Bill 221 in 2008 and updated in 2012, require utilities suppliers to generate a quarter of their kilowatt hours from alternative energy sources—half of which must qualify as renewable—by 2025, meeting annual progress benchmarks along the way. The energy bill also stipulates that providers must help customers reduce their energy consumption by 22%, also by 2025 (lawmakers thankfully spared our energy drink consumption, which will probably increase by 22%, because energy drinks are delicious and xtreme and who needs to feel their stinky old face anyway???).
Councilman Matt Zone and a coalition of sustainability advocates and clean energy supporters spoke yesterday at a press conference, detailing specific advances made locally and statewide in the adoption of renewables and identifying the myriad benefits of diversifying Ohio’s energy portfolio, including creating jobs, lowering residential and commercial taxes and electric bills, improving air quality, and forestalling like seven kinds of apocalypses.
“In the last five years we created thousands of jobs and will save our residents billions of dollars. Now is not the time to set this progress on pause. Now is the time to continue Ohio’s success story and continue to create jobs, save energy and make Ohio competitive,” said Zone at the conference.
The council ordinance itself addresses “outside interests” which “are seeking to have the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard halted, turning back significant progress made since the adoption of Senate Bill 221 in 2008.”
Republican state senator Bill Seitz, who voted in favor of the near-unanimous SB 221 in 2008—before his moral compass was hideously deformed in a freak accident, triggering a comically evil Harvey Dent about-face—is now spearheading legislative efforts to repeal the clean energy bill he once supported. Seitz also serves on the board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative public policy group that works in concert with Sith lords and energy interests—including (surprise!) FirstEnergy and Koch Industries—to push environmentally regressive, sponsor-friendly legislation in statehouses nationwide.
In a Wall Street Journal interview last month, Seitz equated Ohio’s clean energy standards with, uh, “Joseph Stalin’s 5-year plan,” because he’s mature and because clean energy industries—which currently employ over 25,000 Ohioans, as much as forestry and mining combined, and have afforded Ohio ratepayers over $1 billion in net savings—are impoverishing everyone and causing widespread famine. Like, I almost went to Wendy’s today but couldn’t because I was writing about renewable energy and now I’m STARVING TO DEATH. Chilling.