Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on Rep Ryan Smith’s Speaker of the House victory

Columbus, Ohio — The following statement may be attributed to Sarah Spence, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund’s Government Affairs Director, on Rep. Ryan Smith (R- Bidwell) being named Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

“The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund is looking forward to working with Speaker Smith on addressing the environmental issues that matter to Ohio communities. We congratulate the new Speaker on his victory and are eager to find commonsense solutions to Ohio’s pressing environmental concerns including protecting drinking water, ensuring adequate protections from oil and gas development, and expanding Ohio’s clean energy opportunities.”


Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on SB 299 the “Clean Lake 2020 Plan”

Columbus, Ohio Today, the Ohio Senate Finance Committee passed SB 299 also known as the Clean Lake 2020 Plan. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Peter Bucher, Water Resources Director at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund.

“This legislation is a well rounded, short term approach that will provide some much needed resources to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Not only does it provide support for agricultural equipment and technology to reduce phosphorus runoff, it supports research efforts and the people power to assist farmers in developing best management practices. Prioritizing these funds to watersheds within the western Lake Erie basin watershed will help ensure the Soil and Water Phosphorus program is efficient and effective.”

“We’re hopeful the Senate will take quick action on this legislation with a full floor vote. With another large algal bloom predicted for this year we need to utilize as many resources as possible to reverse this trend and clean up Lake Erie.”


Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the Passage of Orphan Well Bill in the Ohio Senate

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed HB 225, which includes a number of improvements to Ohio law to expedite the plugging of abandoned oil and gas wells by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). In January, the bill unanimously passed in the Ohio House. The following statement in regards to HB 225 can be attributed in part, or in full to Melanie Houston, Director of Climate Programs:

“We commend members of the Ohio Senate for advancing a bill that is certainly in the interest of the public and Ohio’s natural environment. 

“Orphan wells pose a hazard to the environment and to human health and safety. Until they are located and properly plugged, they provide unnecessary health, safety and groundwater contamination risks. Orphan wells have been found under school buildings, houses and streets, and even in lawns and recreation areas in both rural and urban areas.

“This bill improves the Orphan Well Program and gives ODNR Division of Oil and Gas clear guidance and the ability to expedite the plugging of hazardous abandoned and orphaned wells throughout Ohio.”

OHIO SENATE: In Renacci vs. Brown, Stakes Are High for Ohio’s Clean Energy Jobs, Air & Water

Senator Sherrod Brown fights for Ohioans as Jim Renacci sells out clean air, water & land to corporate polluters & his fellow Washington lobbyists

Washington, D.C.  Lobbyist-turned-Congressman Jim Renacci would threaten Ohio’s clean air, water, and growing clean energy economy if elected to the U.S. Senate – and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Victory Fund will be out in force to ensure Ohioans know that Senator Sherrod Brown is the only candidate who will fight for our health and environment.

LOBBYIST JIM RENACCI:                      

X Repeatedly voted to slash funding to protect clean drinking water

X Opposed efforts to restore funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and voted to eliminate safeguards to prevent invasive species from invading Lake Erie

X Voted to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and severely weaken its ability to enforce clean air, clean water, and public health safeguards

X Was still a registered lobbyist when elected to Congress and failed to disclose nearly $50,000 in donations

X Has a pathetic 3 percent lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard


 Champions clean water, including having two bills signed into law to protect drinking water from lead contamination

 Fights to protect Lake Erie from toxic algae, including working across the aisle to pass the Drinking Water Protection Act

 Secured funding for the first-ever wind farm in Lake Erie and supports expanding clean, renewable energy jobs in Ohio and across the country

 Stands up to Big Oil and the Koch Brothers by pushing to repeal billions in tax breaks for polluting special interests

 Has a stellar 93 percent lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard

“Jim Renacci is out of step with Ohio and has no business representing us in the U.S. Senate,” said Aryeh Alex, Director of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. “While Senator Sherrod Brown has been a champion for clean water – passing bills to fight lead contamination and working to clean up Lake Erie, which supports 124,000 Ohio jobs – Renacci’s voting record shows he only cares about making profits for the polluting special interests who fund his campaigns.”

“Ohioans have a clear choice this November between Sherrod Brown, who has worked with both parties to protect clean water and to build a renewable energy economy, and lobbyist Jim Renacci who doesn’t care about our communities,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns.“Renacci would be one of the most anti-environmental members of the U.S. Senate – he’s simply too extreme for Ohio.”

Jim Renacci was just endorsed by one of the most anti-environment politicians in history

If you’re a pro-environment voter in Ohio, this year’s U.S. Senate race is one you have to pay attention to. Senator Sherrod Brown, who has a near-perfect lifetime League of Conservation Voters score, is running against Congressman Jim Renacci, who has a terrible record on clean energy, protecting Lake Erie, and public land protection.

The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Endorses The Wood County Park District Levy

Bowling Green, Ohio — On May 8, Wood County residents will have the opportunity to vote for a park levy renewal that would increase funding by $200,000 annually without raising homeowners’ taxes. The levy would bring current annual funding from $2.8 million to $3 million and would allow for continued operations and maintenance. This renewal would not be a tax increase, but would renew the current levy set to expire at the end of the year.

The Woody County Park District operates 20 parks, nature preserves, and historical sites throughout the county, including the Bradner Preserve, the Carter Historic Farm, and Otsego Park.  

“Increased funding is a vital step in the maintenance of Wood County’s precious natural landscape, and will ensure a safe environment for the community to enjoy for many years to come,” said Ricardo Granados, Public Lands Coordinator with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. “We look forward to supporting the Wood County Park District in their efforts to conserve, enhance, and protect the natural and cultural resources of the county.”   



Release: Republican Congressman Jim Renacci Votes Against Lake Erie

Republican Congressman Jim Renacci Votes Against Lake Erie

Stark Difference Between Senator Sherrod Brown and Opponent on Ohio’s Greatest Natural Resource

Columbus, Ohio — Last week, on the very same day that Ohio declared the western portion of Lake Erie impaired, Republican Rep. Jim Renacci voted against millions of dollars in funding to help restore the Great Lakes. Renacci’s opposition stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers who came together in support of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

“Lake Erie is Ohio’s greatest natural resource, an economic engine, and drinking water source for millions of people,” said Aryeh Alex, Director of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. “When Ohioans go to the poll this November, they will have a choice to vote for a champion of Lake Erie in US Senator Sherrod Brown, or a Congressman that doesn’t think protecting drinking water and stopping toxic algae is important.”  

Restoring and protecting our Great Lakes is vital to Ohio communities and am important issue in this year’s election. Toxic algae blooms threaten millions of Ohioans’ access to clean water, as well as the region’s economy:

As The Youngstown Vindicator editorial board wrote, last week’s bipartisan vote in support of funding for Great Lakes restoration was, “one of the more notable victories of common sense over recklessness in the era of President Donald Trump.” By voting against the funding, Rep. Renacci turned his back on the many Ohio communities that rely on Lake Erie.


The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Announces Delegation Scores from LCV’s 2017 National Environmental Scorecard

The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Announces Delegation Scores from LCV’s 2017 National Environmental Scorecard

Columbus, OH -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund today released the Ohio delegation’s scores on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2017 National Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard is the LCV’s primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of every member of Congress, and is available online at