Chairman Jordan, Vice Chair O’Brien, and Members of the Ohio Senate Finance - General Government and Agency Review Subcommittee, my name is Sarah Spence, Director of Government Affairs for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund (OECAF). Thank for the opportunity to speak to the committee today on substitute HB 49.
Chairman Seitz, Vice Chair Carfagna, and Ranking Member Ashford; I am Trish Demeter, Managing Director of Energy Programs for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) Action Fund. Thank you for inviting testimony on Ohio House Bill 178 (DeVitis), which would create a create a Zero Emission Nuclear (ZEN) program for the state of Ohio. The OEC Action Fund is opposed to this legislation, as it would diminish customers’ ability to experience the benefits of energy efficiency and distributed energy resources on their monthly electric bill, and would incur costs on customers without yielding any additional environmental benefit for Ohioans.
The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund’s President, Heather Taylor-Miesle, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Kasich’s State of the State address from Sandusky, OH.
"Tonight, we heard Governor Kasich start his State of the State address by recalling childhood memories on the majestic Lake Erie. He nodded to the state’s new Sandusky Bay Initiative, which is an innovative local solution to help clean up our Great Lake. With the Lake as the backdrop, there was no better time or place to place conservation and public health issues center stage.
“Under Gov. Kasich’s leadership, Ohio has made strides to protect and restore Lake Erie, but Ohio has yet to take the bold action needed to end Lake Erie’s toxic algae plague. I call on Governor Kasich to urge state lawmakers to get serious about curbing agricultural runoff pollution. Pollution from industrial farms is the leading cause of toxic algae. We know the problem. Our leaders must step up to fix it.
“At the federal level, President Donald Trump has proposed an EPA budget that completely eliminates Great Lakes restoration and protection funding. The OEC Action Fund, and the Ohioans who depend on Lake Erie for drinking water and jobs call on the Governor to end these draconian cuts.
“Missing entirely from the Governor’s speech was any discussion of clean energy jobs. Gov. Kasich has been a champion for Ohio’s clean energy industry in the past, and has pledged to veto any attempts to repeal Ohio’s successful clean energy standards. With the Ohio House of Representatives’ recent passage of HB114, another attempt to gut Ohio’s clean energy progress, we need to hear where the Governor stands. If Gov. Kasich truly wants to see a diversified economy for the state, Ohio must put its open for business sign up for clean energy. "
Columbus, OH - Today, in response to the introduction of House Bill 114 aimed at freezing Ohio’s renewable energy standards, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund released the following statement:
“With the introduction of HB114, the Ohio House of Representatives is re-hashing failed attempts to thwart the renewable energy standards that Ohioans overwhelmingly support. Governor Kasich vetoed very similar legislation in HB554 last year and has continued to advocate for the standards to remain in place. Ohio needs to be a leader in the energy revolution that is sweeping the world instead of debating legislation that is dead on arrival.”
Columbus, OH - Today, in response to Sen. Schiavoni’s introduction of legislation aimed at improving Ohio’s water infrastructure, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund released the following supportive statement:
"This entire event is close to my heart. I grew up in the shadow of an oil refinery. My school was literally on the cliffs right above this refinery, and on windy days the pollution would flow into our playground. Most of my friends had inhalers. Many of them had cancer, and one day the parents started to talk and realize that this was not normal. And they started to organize, and they started to ask questions, and they started to demand action," Heather Taylor-Miesle began her speech at the Ohio 15th District Town Hall meeting on February 23.