Don’t Make Ohio Homeowners Foot the Bill for Big Corporations: Reject the Mercantile Opt-Out in HB 114

Ohio’s energy efficiency standards benefit everyone. As electric utilities invest in programs that help homeowners and businesses save energy, we all reap the rewards of lower utility bills, more jobs for Ohioans, and reductions in air pollution. It’s a simple idea: we all help cut energy waste, we all enjoy the benefits.

But if some big corporate interests get their way, a new loophole will be enacted by Ohio lawmakers that would undercut all these benefits delivered to Ohio families and communities.  The Mercantile Opt-Out in House Bill 114 would allow big corporations to receive the benefits of energy efficiency without paying their fair share, leaving small businesses and families to foot the bill.

Some lawmakers may be ready to support this legislation, choosing to create special loopholes for special interests rather than stand up for Ohio consumers, particularly those that can least afford higher energy bills.

Not only is it likely that utility bills go up, but progress on clean energy development would suffer. Ohio would miss out on thousands of good-paying jobs in the energy efficiency sector,, and healthcare costs associated with poor air quality from the fossil fuel industry would rise. If approved, the opt-out could lead to $6 billion in additional energy and health costs over the next decade.

Urge your lawmakers to reject the Mercantile Opt-Out in HB 114 and put Ohioans first, not big corporations.

Fix Wind Setbacks Once and For All

For four years, wind energy has been at a standstill in Ohio. While other states have been getting ahead — creating new jobs and benefitting from valuable new tax revenue — Ohioans stand to miss out on $4.2 billion in investment from companies that will expand wind projects in the Buckeye State.

In 2014, Ohio lawmakers added an eleventh-hour amendment to a state budget bill that dramatically changed the rules for where wind turbines could be built in the state. This one move effectively blocked opportunities for Ohio’s businesses, our skilled workforce, and rural communities. As a result, Ohio has been falling behind in one of the fastest growing sectors of our nation’s economy — clean energy — and our over-reliance on polluting sources of energy continues.   

It’s time for a course correction to get Ohio back on track. Starting now, state lawmakers have a chance to cut the red tape on wind energy, and fix the wind setback laws once and for all. Legislation has been introduced in both chambers to enact common-sense wind setback requirements, which would open Ohio up for new business, jumpstart stalled wind projects, help our economy, and protect our health.

Ohio’s wind energy economy has stagnated long enough. Tell your lawmakers to pass a solution for wind setbacks today. We don’t have any more time to waste!

Ohio's Clean Energy Future is in Jeopardy

The newest version of HB 114 that is pending in the Ohio Senate makes great strides fixing overly-burdensome regulations on wind farms that have stifled wind energy for years, but unfortunately, this good step forward is being taken at the expense of Ohio's renewable and efficiency standards that we've fought hard over the years to protect.

Ohioans have proved that clean energy is here to stay and families and businesses want policies that create the best environment for new, and bigger, investments in clean energy. But, HB 114 includes a provision called the "mercantile opt-out" which creates special exemptions for big corporations like Marathon Oil, but would increase the electric bills of Ohio families and small businesses. 

We can have it all, which is why our lawmakers should act fast to fix investment-stifling regulations on wind farms, but to not simultaneously give special deals to big corporations at the expense of hardworking Ohioans.  Your action to protect clean energy in the state is absolutely critical in paving the way for a clean energy future in Ohio. Tell your Ohio Senator to reject the "mercantile opt-out" in House Bill 114.