Columbus, OH — Following weeks of testimony and contentious debate, the Ohio Senate passed House Bill 6 (HB 6), appeasing only a few private sector interests in Ohio at the expense of Ohio’s clean energy progress, our economy and environment.
In response, the following quote can be attributed in full or part to Trish Demeter, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund advocate:
“Today’s passage of House Bill 6 (HB 6) by the Ohio Senate is a devastating blow to our environment, economy and all those who call Ohio home. As Ohioans increasingly face climate change threats, lawmakers voted in favor of increasing carbon emissions by forcing Ohioans to continue subsidizing two aging coal plants and rolling back Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards; two key state policies that would have reduced carbon pollution by about 10 million tons per year over the next decade.
“Today, a majority of Ohio Senators voted in favor of corporate utilities and Wall Street investors at the expense of Ohio families, small businesses and the health of current and future Ohioans. While states around us move forward on a path toward a cleaner energy future, Ohio just took a drastic step backward that will harm Ohioans for years to come. The OEC Action Fund will be doing extensive public education on the content of this bill and both the House and Senate votes on this legislation due to its adverse impact to Ohio’s environment and the health of Ohioans.”
Additional information on the impacts of HB 6:
Despite claims otherwise, the state's renewable energy standard is now effectively eliminated. The reduced renewable portfolio standard (RPS) target from 12.5% to 8.5%, coupled with the "end date" of 2026, completely hobbles renewable project financing that requires longer timelines. The result is very much the same as a straight-out repeal.
The claim that HB 6 will save Ohioans money on their utility bills are utterly false. HB 6 wipes out Ohio's energy efficiency programs that have saved Ohioans over $5 billion on their bills since 2009, and therefore Ohioans will be deprived of these money-saving opportunities moving forward.
Eliminating the renewable energy and efficiency standards will end the economic growth in the fastest growing job sector in the U.S. and threaten the more than 112,000 good-paying, clean-energy jobs across the state.
While the rest of the country is moving forward, and doubling down on a path towards more diversified energy portfolios, Ohio’s modest 12.5% by 2027 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is still effectively driving investment in Ohio. But Ohio’s RPS pales in comparison to neighboring states’ targets: Michigan is going to hit 35% by 2025, Indiana will hit 25% by 2025-2026, Illinois will hit 25% by 2025 - 2026), and Pennsylvania will hit 18% by 2020-2021 (according to the National Council of State Legislatures).