Survey results released last week showed a majority of Ohio registered voters — Republicans and Democrats — support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. A new batch of data from the same source shows the same is true for the country as a whole.
This week, the Supreme Court of Ohio heard arguments in a case that could overturn a regulatory decision that advocates say broke the law and cost ratepayers millions.
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats throughout Ohio favor clean energy policies, such as regulating carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant and more government funding for renewable energy, according to a new interactive map.
A pro-coal group that has appeared in multiple Ohio wind farm cases has not disclosed its members, raising questions about who funds the nonprofit organization and what relationship it might have to other parties.
Advocates for industry, consumer and environmental groups expressed strong support for a bill to reform state utility law at a hearing before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee this week. House Bill 247 would end the current practice of Electric Security Plans, which allow a variety of nonbypassable charges, regardless of whom customers choose to buy electricity from. The bill would also prohibit utilities from owning electric generation facilities. And it would require refunds if utility charges were later found to have been unlawful or unreasonable. “With more Boomers headed to retirement, and on a fixed income, we must keep utility bills in check,” AARP Ohio’s Trey Addison told lawmakers on November 28.
Proposed changes to PJM’s energy pricing system could reward coal and nuclear plants in Ohio and elsewhere in the region while making consumers pay more, claim critics.
Recent rule changes in Ohio would not fully reward solar energy and other renewable resources for the flexibility they bring to the market, say advocates.
Industry leaders who met in Canton, Ohio last week are optimistic about the future of fuel cell buses and say the fuel cell industry could add 65,000 jobs for the Midwest by 2032.
Ohio energy companies, state agencies and other groups are forming some unexpected alliances in their positions for and against a federal proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power over other forms of electricity.
A federal tariff case that could raise the cost of most new solar panels is already casting a shadow on parts of Ohio’s solar energy industry — but could also create new opportunities for one of the state’s manufacturers. The case before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) could result in a tariff on imports of crystalline silicon solar cells. If adopted, it “would cut new projected solar projects by two-thirds,” reported Dan Whitten of the Solar Energy Industry Association at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference earlier this month. Melink Corporation in Cincinnati is already seeing impacts in the form of “increased module prices in anticipation that the tariff will get passed,” said company founder and CEO Steve Melink. “So manufacturers are adjusting prices.”
“The uncertainty is messing it up a bit,” said Dovetail Solar & Wind President Al Frasz in Cleveland.