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Environmental Group Says Ohio Energy Law Goes Against National Trend

Iberdrola Renewables

The Environmental Defense Fund sees Ohio as going in the opposite direction of most other states when it comes to supporting green energy.

Ohio's new law, created through HB6, bails out the state's two nuclear power plants and ensures two coal plants will continue to run through hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies.

The bill also rolled back renewable energy requirements for utilities and eliminated energy efficiency mandates.

Dick Munson, director of midwest clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund, says Ohio's new policies go against the national trend.

"The message has been from the states over the last several months particularly since the Trump administration began is that the states were the place for innovation they were embracing renewables and energy efficiency," says Munson.

But Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) points out that there are other states that have backed away from the green energy requirements in one way or another, such as West Virginia and Indiana. 

Supporters of the law say the green energy standards were expensive, so this will reduce electric bills and that the law will save the state's largest source of non-carbon energy, nuclear power. 

Opponents are trying to put the law on next year’s ballot for voters to decide.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.