Response to new version of Sub. HB 6 released on June 26 in the Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee

The new version of House Bill 6 is essentially a distinction without a difference, and would drive the same conclusion if enacted - higher bills, dirtier air, and Ohio jobs at risk.

COLUMBUS, OH—The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund stands firm that House Bill 6 still falls far short of what is required to ensure Ohio has a bright energy future. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Trish Demeter, Chief of Staff with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“The new version of House Bill 6 is essentially a distinction without a difference, and would drive the same conclusion if enacted - higher bills, dirtier air, and Ohio jobs at risk. This new version of HB 6 falls far short of shepherding Ohio into a cleaner, more efficient energy future, and instead will set Ohio back. As a state, we should lean into clean energy, instead of significantly dialing back policies that attract more investment in Ohio, cut energy costs for Ohio families, and reduce harmful air pollution.

“While on paper the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) are maintained, albeit at lower targets than current law, in practice these standards will effectively fade away. This is due to dramatic changes proposed in the bill on how these policies are implemented, and the likelihood that utilities would no longer cut energy waste through energy efficiency rebate programs. By no means will this bill save Ohioans money on their electric bills, and if the bill is enacted, families and businesses will experience higher monthly bills.

“We appreciate that the Senate removed the poison pill provision that would allow for local referendum on wind farms, and the coal bailout appears to be permissive now, rather than mandated. Unfortunately, the bill still sets Ohio significantly back.

“This process has been rushed from the very start, and instead of implementing a policy with many unknowns, we encourage the Senate to take the time to thoroughly evaluate each policy change they are making in Sub. HB 6. We stand ready to work with the Senate to improve this bill further for the benefit of all Ohioans.”


Response to the Ohio House Passing House Bill 7

House Bill 7 establishes the H2Ohio Trust Fund for water quality improvement projects to protect Ohioans

COLUMBUS, OH—The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund applauds the passage of HB 7 to further fund water improvement projects that will invest more in Ohio's environment, creating a healthier more prosperous future for Ohioans. The following statement can be attributed in whole, or in part, to Pete Bucher, Water Resources Director:

“In addition to any H2Ohio funding in the state budget, the Trust Fund structure will allow for Ohio to have a long term source of funding to implement water improvement projects. Long term funding sources will be crucial to meeting our water quality improvement goals in Ohio as we continue to face the impacts of climate change. This bill further signifies the important role our waterways play in our public health, manufacturing, recreation, and tourism here in Ohio and the Great Lakes region.”

Response to the Senate Passage of the Budget Proposal

Columbus, OH—The State Senate today passed their proposal for the upcoming FY 2020-2021 Ohio State Budget. In response, the following quote can be attributed in full or part to Kristy Meyer, Vice-President of Natural Resources Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“This budget proposal maintains many positive things that will help improve our water quality and increase our access to public lands. We appreciate the work of Senate President Larry Obhof and the Ohio Senate on those issues.

“The initial funding for the H2Ohio is a great start and we hope to see long-term, dedicated funding for water quality—to fulfill the H2Ohio program as proposed earlier this year. Strong accountability measures should be put in place to ensure a good investment of public dollars that will achieve water quality improvements.

“We are pleased to see funding for our nature preserves and $47 million for the purchase of the AEP ReCreation Lands. We urge the State Park Fund line item be reinstated in conference committee to include a one-time $25 million dollar infusion to update and improve our Park system.

“However, all of the investments in conservation are meaningless with the Senate’s addition of its SB1 regulatory reduction provision that threatens the ability of the state to protect the health and safety of all Ohioans. We are also calling on lawmakers to invest in $1.1 million to fund the state’s census efforts so that we can have a complete count in 2020—something that Senator O’Brien offered as an amendment and was rejected by the majority party.

“The OEC Action Fund continues to work with lawmakers to ensure that Ohio’s land, water, air, and democracy are protected for this budget and beyond."

SENATE PASSES BILL TARGETING WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS

SB 2 establishes a statewide watershed planning and management program

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund applauds President of the Senate Larry Obhof and Minority Leader Kenny Yuko and Bill Sponsors Senators Bob Peterson and Matt Dolan for the introduction of and leadership of SB 2. SB 2 creates a watershed coordinator program in each major watershed, coordinated plans for water quality improvements, an aggregation of conservation practices utilized in the state by watershed, as well as a farmer 4R program.

The following quote can be attributed in full or part to Kristy Meyer, Vice President of Policy at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“We are encouraged by the passage of this bill out of the Senate. The bill would create a program that puts us on a path for water quality improvements and better understanding of the current conservation practices being utilized on agricultural fields across the state. We applaud the Senate, especially the bill Sponsors, Senator Peterson and Dolan for this step towards better water quality in Ohio.

With summer looming and a large harmful algal bloom expected, residents struggling to pay their water bills, and communities failing to make the necessary water infrastructure upgrades the must consider all funding and voluntary and legislative tools to sustainably improve our waterways and ensure all Ohioans have access to clean, safe, and affordable water.”

Response to the Senate Republican Budget Proposal

Columbus, OH—The Senate Republican Caucus today released their budget priorities for the upcoming FY 2020-2021 Ohio State Budget. In response, the following quote can be attributed in full or part to Kristy Meyer, Vice-President of Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“This budget proposal continues many of the good things introduced by Governor DeWine and refined by Speaker Householder and the Ohio House of Representatives. Particularly, we are pleased to see the continued full funding for our parks, nature preserves, and wildlife areas, and $47 million for the purchase of AEP ReCreation Lands.

“We continue to push for long-term, dedicated funding for water quality—to fulfill the H2Ohio program as proposed by the Governor. It is good to see this a major priority in this version of the budget as well.  

“As 2020 quickly approaches, we urge the Senate to include adequate funding for the state’s efforts to ensure a complete census count including $1.1 million for hard to count community grants.

“The OEC Action Fund continues to work with lawmakers to ensure that Ohio’s land, water, air, and democracy are protected for this budget and beyond."

Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund On The House Passing a Disastrous Corporate Bailout in HB6

Columbus, OH—The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Miranda Leppla, Vice-President of Energy Policy at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Today, members of the Ohio House of Representatives forced through House Bill 6, a bill that will increase air pollution, and burden Ohioans with bailing two aging nuclear power plants and two coal plants - including one in Indiana. The House vote essentially dupes Ohioans into paying millions more on their electric bills for energy sources of the past, while simultaneously wiping out energy-saving efficiency programs and shutting out rapidly expanding opportunities in wind and solar energy - the two fastest growing job sectors in the nation.

“Ohioans deserve so much better. Today’s vote demonstrates that many Ohio Representatives chose the interests of big corporations over the health and pocket books of working families. HB 6 is nothing more than a ploy to bail out corporate utilities that want to continue to run old, dirty energy sources, under the guise of “clean air."

“While we are extremely disappointed in today’s vote, we are hopeful that the Ohio Senate and Governor DeWine stand up for Ohio families and those that will be most impacted by the increase in air pollution. We urge the Ohio Senate to reject HB 6 in its entirety, and to take a  comprehensive and measured approach to the issue of Ohio’s energy future.

“We applaud Minority Leader Sykes and key committee members Representatives Denson, O’Brien, Boggs, Leland, and Weinstein for fighting to stop this effort and for proposing a more holistic energy plan with the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act (House Bill 260)—a far superior plan that should be passed into law over the draconian HB6.

“As this terrible legislation moves forward, the OEC Action Fund, our partners from across the political spectrum, Ohio businesses, and more will be educating Ohioans on the negative impacts of this bill, and will fight to prevent this legislation from proceeding through the Senate in its current form. Ohio energy policy impacts the health of our kids and economy, and our state can’t afford to see House Bill 6 become law.”

Statement on HB6 Being Voted Out Of Committee without Ample Time for Debate or Amendments

Columbus, OH -- Just moments ago, Republicans on the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee forced a vote on House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout tax that now also funds a coal plant in Indiana on the backs of Ohio ratepayers. This party-line vote was called without giving Democrats the opportunity to offer amendments or hear from experts on the new omnibus amendment that was introduced less than 24 hours prior to the vote.

The following quote can be attributed in full or part to Miranda Leppla, Vice-President of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

House Bill 6 is a disastrous attempt to fleece Ohioans and use their hard-earned dollars to bailout two outdated nuclear plants and two coal plants--one of which is located in Indiana. The Republican-led bill is a stark contrast from the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act introduced earlier today by the House Democrats, which would move Ohio toward cleaner air and economic prosperity."

Instead of offering time to debate and hear potential amendments, the chair forced a vote with no opportunity to hear legitimate criticism or opposition. Ohioans deserve better, and we urge members of the Ohio House to think long and hard about saddling Ohioans with bailing out the bad decisions made by FirstEnergy Solutions.

COMMON SENSE ENERGY PLAN SAVES JOBS AND CONSUMERS MONEY

Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act Better for Workers, Consumers, Environment, and Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH -- Today House Democrats held a press conference and unveiled the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will move Ohio’s economy forward by creating good paying jobs, ensuring cleaner air, and better health for all Ohioans.

“The Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act is fair to businesses and consumers, and maintains energy efficiency standards that will save Ohioans money. This plan is good for workers, consumers, the environment, and Ohio,” Miranda Leppla, Vice-President of Energy Policy at the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund said.

“The Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act puts Ohio on the right track to ensuring 50 percent of our energy needs are being generated from renewable sources,” Leppla said.

“This bill stands in stark contrast to House Bill 6, which will take Ohio backward,” Leppla said. “We support establishing accountability and transparency measures in the state’s clean energy program that requires utilities to demonstrate the need for continued subsidies and gives consumers the ability to “clawback” their investment if the utility decides to close or sell facilities, which is absent from House Bill 6.”

“Lawmakers in the Ohio House face a clear choice. They can bailout FirstEnergy Solutions and reward their poor management decisions, put profits over people, and put consumers on the hook to pay billions of dollars to a greedy utility in perpetuity,” said Leppla. “Or they can embrace a common sense plan that benefits everyone in Ohio. We ask Republicans to work in good faith with Democrats and adopt the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Act to protect existing jobs and create new, good paying jobs instead of moving forward with the disastrous House Bill 6.”

GROUPS BACK BAD-FOR-CONSUMER PAYOUT BILL DARK MONEY GROUP SPENDS MILLIONS ON MISLEADING ADS

Columbus -- Today, several groups testified in support of a bill to bail out nuclear power plants, which would cost consumers millions more each year on their electric bills. This bill would gut money-saving efficiency programs, throttle investments in wind and solar projects, and hurt hard-working Ohioans.

“Ohioans should not have to pay the millions of dollars it would cost to support these aging nuclear power plants, while our legislators gut the renewable and efficiency programs that have saved Ohioans money every year for the past decade and have driven job growth across our state,” said Miranda Leppla, Vice-President of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. “Ohioans work hard for their paychecks, and their money should be put toward renewable energy and efficiency programs, which have already created over 112,000 jobs in Ohio and have the potential to create tens of thousands more. Although today several entities testified that bailing out the nuclear plants would save jobs, there are hundreds of thousands of Ohioans opposing this bill who were unable to testify in support of the energy efficiency and renewables standards that this same bill would jeopardize.  Our clean energy economy continues to drive job growth at a much faster pace than the rest of Ohio’s economy, and we should be protecting all workers, not just a select few. Ohioans in the clean energy economy were too busy working for the money needed to pay for their electric bills,” Leppla explained.

“Meanwhile, a dark money group has already spent as much as $2.7 million on false and misleading advertising that attempts to take Ohioans’ hard-earned money. At the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, we stand with those who oppose House Bill 6. We hope Ohio legislators vote no and create a healthier Ohio for our children and thousands of good paying jobs from renewable energy,” said Leppla.

Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Disappointed in Committee Leadership for Stifling Debate on Nuclear Subsidy Bill

Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund Disappointed in Committee Leadership for Stifling Debate on Nuclear Subsidy Bill


COLUMBUS, OH -- Commenting on the walkout today by Democrats on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee:

“It’s ironic and sad that a utility company that supplies electricity for lighting is so willing to hide in the shadows. The OEC Action Fund calls on FirstEnergy and supporters of HB 6 to answer each and every question about its scheme to pick the pockets of Ohio families and reap $300 million a year in perpetuity to pay for aging nuclear power plants, while gutting our renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. When this is all said and done, it could be a billion-dollar payout,” said Miranda Leppla, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund’s Vice President of Energy Policy.

“FirstEnergy is using its influence to silence its critics in the Ohio House, the utility's allies are spending vast amounts of money to air deceptive and misleading advertisements on television. We need to put a spotlight on FirstEnergy,” Leppla said.

For more information, read the Common Cause report on "Connecting the Dots: FirstEnergy Political $$$, Profits, and Utility."

SPEAKER HOUSEHOLDER AND MINORITY LEADER SYKES COMMIT TO INVESTING IN CLEAN WATER AND OHIO’S ENVIRONMENT WITH HB7

SPEAKER HOUSEHOLDER AND MINORITY LEADER SYKES COMMIT TO INVESTING IN CLEAN WATER AND OHIO’S ENVIRONMENT WITH HB7

House Bill 7 establishes the H2Ohio Endowment Board to oversee state funds for water quality improvement projects to protect Ohioans.
 

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund applauded Speaker of the House Larry Householder and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Joint Sponsors Representatives Ghanbari and Patterson for introducing HB 7 to establish a state trust to fund water quality improvement projects that will invest more in Ohio's environment, creating a healthier future for Ohioans. The following statement can be attributed in whole, or in part, to Pete Bucher, Water Resources Director:

“This structure will allow for Ohio to have a long term source of funding to implement water improvement projects in addition to the Governor’s proposal to apply general state funds through H2Ohio. This is a creative approach that signifies the important role our waterways play in our public health, manufacturing, recreation and tourism here in Ohio and the Great Lakes region.”

The OEC Action Fund works for pragmatic solutions to keep Ohio clean and beautiful, and our communities safe. We fight for clean air and water, clean energy, and protected public lands.

OEC ACTION FUND APPRECIATES SPEAKER HOUSEHOLDER AND MINORITY LEADER SYKES FOR INVESTING IN CLEAN WATER, PUBLIC LANDS AND OHIO’S ENVIRONMENT

OEC ACTION FUND APPRECIATES SPEAKER HOUSEHOLDER AND MINORITY LEADER SYKES FOR INVESTING IN CLEAN WATER, PUBLIC LANDS AND OHIO’S ENVIRONMENT

Budget bill allocates funds towards public lands and environmental protections for Ohioans

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund applauded Speaker of the House Larry Householder and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes for passing a two-year state budget yesterday that will invest more in public lands and Ohio's environment, creating a healthier future for Ohioans.

"We would like to applaud House Speaker Larry Householder and Representative Emilia Sykes for passing a budget that will invest in Ohio's environment and protect Ohioans," said Heather Taylor-Miesle, President of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. "Their votes will invest $47 million in public lands, preserving access to approximately 60,000 contiguous acres including the AEP ReCreation Lands.

“The investment also includes reinstating the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves that will make Ohio's nature preserves a priority, and protect plant and wildlife for years to come. We are also glad to see that the Division of Wildlife will be able to continue their vital conservation work, thanks to adjusted revenue from hunting and fishing licenses."

"The House also voted to allocate more than $50 million in the next two years for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to plug orphan wells. These inactive wells can leak dangerous pollutants into our atmosphere and water sources," said Taylor-Miesle.

"I'd also like to thank state Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson for offering an amendment during committee to protect oil and gas first responders. Although the measure didn't pass, Rep. Hicks-Hudson’s positive step helped to shine a light on the issue," said Taylor-Miesle.

“Although the House did not maintain the Governor’s proposal to apply all of the surplus to H2Ohio, we urge the General Assembly to continue efforts to find other methods to secure necessary, long-term resources to support the clean up and preservation of the waters that support Ohioans and Ohio businesses.”

The OEC Action Fund works for pragmatic solutions to keep Ohio clean and beautiful, and our communities safe. We fight for clean air and water, clean energy, and protected public lands. We hold polluters accountable in court while working with communities and companies that want to invest in a clean, more sustainable direction. For nearly 50 years, we have led many of the major environmental policy wins in Ohio.

Statement from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the Passage of Columbus Issue 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11

Columbus, OH -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund thanks Columbus voters for supporting the $1 billion capital improvements investment in our great community. 
 
The future is bright, green, paved and clean for Columbus. We are going to have more parks and playgrounds. More streets will be lined with beautiful trees. We will have more bike paths and lanes, and we are going to preserve more green space for our children. And we are going to improve our water and sanitary systems.
 
Today, voters sent a strong message that they are willing to invest in an even higher quality of life for all of us.

Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Plan

Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund on the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Plan

Columbus, OH - Today, Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Democratic lawmakers announced their plan for a modern, holistic clean energy and economic development plan to move Ohio toward a healthy, sustainable state for our families and future generations. The plan strengthens and reinforces the importance of clean, renewable energy and energy conservation by preserving and expanding Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency standards.

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Miranda Leppla, Vice President of Energy Policy with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“The plan unveiled today is a forward-thinking proposal that moves Ohio toward a healthier, more sustainable future. Not only will this measure improve Ohio’s environment and public health, it will continue to drive the creation of good paying jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors, which already supports 112,000 jobs in Ohio.


“In stark contrast to the proposed House Bill 6, the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Plan is a comprehensive approach to Ohio’s energy landscape. House Bill 6 is projected to raise hard-working Ohioans’ bills by $6.11 per month to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, while doing nothing to incentivize wind and solar energy.  
 

“Ohioans deserve leaders who work to create sustainable futures for their families, and the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Plan is aiming to do just that. By drafting a plan that is truly a “clean air” package, this plan will help Ohio realize its potential for wind and solar development, give Ohioans even more savings on monthly bills thanks to robust energy efficiency plans, and create sustainable, good paying Ohio jobs. Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund applauds this proposal for recognizing that Ohio must create a sustainable, clean energy future, not only invest in technologies of the past.”

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Statement: House Bill 6 would cost hardworking Ohio families $6.11 per month

House Bill 6 would cost hardworking Ohio families $6.11 per month

Despite claims by proponents to the contrary, HB 6 would cost Ohioans $312 million annually

 The following statement can be attributed to Rob Kelter, Senior Attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center and Trish Demeter, Chief of Staff of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund.

 Ohio policymakers promoting Ohio House Bill 6 are misleading Ohioans regarding its so-called cost savings. They have left out the full impact of energy efficiency savings to Ohio customers. Here are the facts.

The fiscal note for House Bill 6 outlines the average monthly bill charges for residential customers that are attributed to Ohio's Renewable Portfolio Standard and to the Energy Efficiency Standard and Peak Demand Reduction requirements.  Those combined charges - when averaged across utility service territories - are $4.10 per month.  The $4.10 charge includes $0.74 for the renewable energy standard and $3.36 for energy efficiency and peak demand reduction requirement.

House Bill 6 eliminates the $4.10 renewable energy and energy efficiency charge and replaces it with a $2.50 monthly fee on residential customers that would go to new subsidies for nuclear and coal power plants under an “Ohio Clean Air Program Fund.” Sponsors of the bill, therefore, claim it will save Ohioans money by reducing their bills from an average of $4.10 to $2.50.

However, this claim ignores the benefits and actual bill reductions that Ohioans are receiving from utility investments in energy efficiency.  Every year, Ohio utilities file reports with the PUCO documenting the savings from their energy efficiency programs. According to calculations based on the most recent available set of reports for the utilities' 2017 programs, those programs produce actual savings of $7.71 per month on average,   When combined with the cost of $4.10, the programs today result in a NET SAVINGS to Ohioans of $3.61 - meaning Ohioans' bills are $3.61 LOWER per month than they would be without the programs. Because House Bill 6 eliminates the energy efficiency standard, Ohioans will lose the $7.71 in monthly savings that these programs generate

Here is the real math for calculating total bill impact for a residential customer if House Bill 6 becomes law: As noted above, under Ohio’s current clean energy standards, customers pay $4.10 in monthly charges but earn $7.71 in monthly savings for a net savings of $3.61.  Under HB 6, the monthly charge is reduced from $4.10 to $2.50, but all $7.71 in energy efficiency savings is wiped out.

Even when accounting for the $1.60 difference between what Ohioans currently pay for clean energy programs ($4.10) and the proposed $2.50 fee for HB 6, Ohioans’ bills will still be $6.11 per month higher than they are today

The energy efficiency standard is currently saving Ohioans money and lowering their electric bills.  For every $1 that utilities spend on energy efficiency, Ohioans save $2.65. According to utility data filed at the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, from 2009 to 2017 the energy efficiency standard has already saved Ohioans $5.1 billion.  

 

A Brief Explanation of Efficiency Savings

Customers benefit from energy efficiency programs in a number of ways.  The programs fund discounts on lighting, appliances and heating and cooling measures available to all Ohioans, and there are few customers who do not take advantage of these programs.  Hence, customers benefit in three significant ways: the programs benefit customers who participate by reducing their energy usage; the programs help utilities avoid making investments in transmission and distribution; and the programs help reduce the expensive power needed on the hottest days of summer when prices peak.

 Not included in the calculation is the further savings achieved from energy efficiency and renewable energy’s “wholesale price suppression effect” on the market price of electricity because of reduced overall demand. The PUCO Staff estimated this price suppression at 5.7%. 

 

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THE OEC ACTION FUND ENDORSES COLUMBUS BOND PACKAGE

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Today, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund (OEC Action Fund), announced their endorsement of the City of Columbus Bond Package, Issues 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Columbus voters will have the opportunity to authorize the city to seek $1 billion in capital improvements through multiple bond packages with Issues 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, without raising taxes. A substantial portion of this package will include drinking water and public park investments needed as the region is expected to grow by an additional million people over the next few decades.

This endorsement is aimed at building the political power of the environmental movement through strategic issue and electoral campaigns.

THE OEC ACTION FUND ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENTS IN LORAIN COUNTY

LORAIN, OHIO -- The Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund (OEC Action Fund), announced today their endorsement of Max Schaefer for Lorain City Council At-Large, and the Lorain Port Authority renewal levy.

Important environmental work happens at the local level. The election of Max Schaefer to city council and the continued work of the Lorain Port Authority will both lead to healthier air, land, and water for the region.

This endorsement is aimed at building the political power of the environmental movement through strategic issue and electoral campaigns.

Statement From the Ohio Environmental Council on the Nuclear Bailout Tax Proposal

Columbus, OH -- Today, Reps. Callendar and Wilken announced the impending introduction of a taxpayer-funded bailout of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, and an effective repeal of Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio and Energy Efficiency Standards. As proposed, the bill would require Ohio taxpayers to pay a new surcharge on their electric bills that would largely go to bailout Ohio’s two aging nuclear plants, both owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, despite the existence of cleaner, cheaper energy sources.

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Trish Demeter, Vice President of Energy Policy with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“The bill announced today is nothing more than another bailout tax for failing nuclear plants paid for on the backs of hardworking Ohioans. Adding insult to injury, the proposed bill would dismantle one of the only state policies that reliably deliver electric bill savings to customers, decrease air pollution, and create new jobs in Ohio. 

“The OEC Action Fund rejects the notion that this bill is for the benefit of cleaner air. The bailout tax will not create any new jobs, and is just another short-term fix to a long-term problem. 

“Ohioans deserve legislators who work to create a sustainable future for their families, instead of ignoring the opportunity to protect our children and grandchildren. Wind and solar are the most viable and least risky clean energy sources today and in the future, yet Ohio legislators want to invest in the technologies of yesterday. We need legislation that builds upon the growth of the clean energy industry, adding to over 112,000 clean energy jobs already in our state. Clean energy is good for Ohioans’ health and it’s good for our economic future.”

THE OEC ACTION FUND RELEASES SCORECARD FOR 132nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Columbus, Ohio -- Today, the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund released it’s Scorecard for the 132nd General Assembly highlighting the work done by the Kasich Administration and the previous Ohio General Assembly.

We know that smart policies are only useful when our elected leaders have the courage to act. The OEC Action Fund ensures lawmakers feel supported when they act in the interest of Ohio’s environment, but also holds them accountable to the public on their environmental record.

We’ve had some tough losses and some great wins for the environment over the last few years, but elected leaders have lots of opportunities for progress to protect Ohio’s air, land, and water for future generations. Both the ongoing acquisition of the AEP ReCreation Lands, and the DeWine Administration’s commitment to revitalizing Lake Erie are bright spots, and the OEC Action Fund looks forward to working with the administration and General Assembly to get the job done.

READ THE OEC ACTION FUND’S SCORECARD

The narratives and scores included reflect the past administration and lawmakers’ actions on key environmental decisions and legislation during the 132nd General Assembly. You’ll get to know some of Ohio’s best environmental protectors and worst polluters. We’ve given each chamber, key lawmakers, and the administration a GPA — Green Protector Average — that takes into account their policy stances on our four key focus areas. For the rest of the General Assembly members, you’ll see how each member voted on our scored legislation. Most importantly, you’ll see the environmental policy picture as a whole for the state of Ohio.

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Reaction from the OEC Action Fund on President Trump’s Visit to Ohio

Columbus, Ohio -- The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to David Miller, Director of Communications for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund:

“Through his recent actions, it’s clear President Trump doesn’t support working families in Ohio. As Trump visits the Buckeye State, Ohioans are grappling with both the closure of the Lordstown GM plant, and the President’s proposed budget, which cuts the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90 percent.

“Trump has continually refused to put the interests of everyday Ohioans over those of his donors and corporate polluter friends.

“With stops in Lima and Canton, it’s a shame the President won’t visit Lake Erie or Lordstown, which is just a stone’s throw from his fundraiser in Canton, where he’ll meet with donors while workers in Ohio suffer without jobs he promised to protect.

“Trump’s Canton fundraiser dinner will cost $50,000 per person to attend, just $3,523 less than the average household income in Lordstown at $53,523, a number set to drop due to Trump’s broken promises.”