Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the Ohio House’s Vote to Open up State Parks to Oil and Gas Development

“Today, the Ohio House voted to override the Governor’s veto on a provision of the State Budget that would allow for the fast tracking of oil and gas development in state parks and other public lands. Simply put, this unconscionable attempt to override this veto puts the business interests of oil and gas companies ahead of the well-being of all Ohioans. With one vote, our legislative leaders have diminished the quality of public lands that we all own, in exchange for a one-time check.

Thanking Governor Kasich for Protecting State Parks and Public Lands

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Sarah Spence, Director of Government Affairs at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Today, the Governor vetoed a provision in the State Budget Bill that would have fast-tracked oil and gas leasing in state parks and public lands across Ohio. We thank Governor Kasich for standing up in defense of public lands that we all share in ownership. We cherish our state parks and state lands as places to hike, hunt, fish, and enjoy with our families, and the Governor’s veto keeps these lands safe from oil and gas development for the time being.

“The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund remains steadfast in our efforts to protect public lands across Ohio for use and enjoyment for future generations.”

Urging Governor Kasich to Veto Budget Bill’s State Lands Drilling Amendment

“This week, the Conference Committee working on Ohio’s budget submitted Amended Substitute House Bill 49 (H.B. 49) to Governor Kasich. The bill includes an amendment that eliminates the governor’s authority to appoint members of the Oil and Gas Leasing Commission (R.C. 1509.71), the state body charged with leasing state lands to the oil and gas industry. The bill would give the governor’s appointment authority to the Speaker of the Ohio House and President of the Ohio Senate. Governor Kasich has declined to appoint members to the Commission since its creation in 2011.

OEC Action Fund Testimony regarding House Bill 114 (to review energy efficiency provisions)

The world is undergoing a massive transition in how it generates, transports, manages and delivers electricity to homes, neighborhoods, and businesses. Consider:

  • In 2015, global capacity for renewable energy surpassed that of coal for the first time ever in human history

  • About half a million solar panels were installed every day around the world in 2015

  • In 2015, China was installing two wind turbines every hour. In 2016, growth in wind has slackened, but only to the tune of 1 turbine per hour.

OEC Action Fund Testimony regarding the State Biennial Operating Budget (Substitute House Bill 49)

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.

OEC Action Fund Testimony Regarding Proposed Zero Emission Nuclear bailout

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.

Governor Kasich’s State of the State wades into Lake Erie issues, is shallow on details

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. "