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AEE Applauds Kasich Veto of Bill Weakening Energy Standards
Ohio Ag Connection - 12/29/2016

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association, and Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (OAEE), AEE's state partner in Ohio, released statements after Governor Kasich vetoed Substitute House Bill 554. The bill would have further weakened the state's energy standards by turning the requirement for utilities to purchase renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency into voluntary goals, with no compliance obligations, through 2019. With Governor Kasich's veto, the standards frozen two years ago are set to be reinstated on January 1, 2017.

"Today, Governor Kasich's principled leadership has given Ohio an opportunity to get back on track. He stood behind his commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency, allowing Ohio to regain its competitive advantage nationally," said J.R. Tolbert, vice president for state policy at Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). "Governor Kasich understands that renewable energy and energy efficiency create jobs and save money. That's a formula that is good for business and good for every Ohioan."

"The two-year freeze has cost Ohio jobs and investments. In the last three years, while Ohio has been idling, Michigan has attracted over $1.1 billion in renewable energy investments," said Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (Ohio AEE). "With this veto, Ohio can begin to move forward with sensible energy policy next year -- one that can bring back advanced energy jobs and investment to Ohio."

"Governor Kasich requested a data-driven, facts-based approach to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Despite creating its own study committee to evaluate costs and benefits, the legislature failed to provide him with an accurate projection of annual consumer savings," added Tolbert. "Fortunately for Gov. Kasich, the Advanced Energy Economy Institute heard his request. This modeling allowed us to demonstrate that a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas is the lowest cost way for Ohio to meet its energy needs, saving the state $3.3 billion and consumers $192 annually by 2027."

The legislature could override the governor's veto with a three-fifths majority vote, but fell short of this vote threshold when Substitute HB554 passed the House (final vote was 56-41) and Senate (final vote was 18-13).

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