Ohio lawmakers have double standard in energy policymaking; renewables on losing end – Massillon Independent

When the moment calls for embracing the energy future, the Republican majorities at the Statehouse are determined to resist. They prefer the energy present, even the past.

Consider the latest example, Senate Bill 52, passed late last month about an hour after midnight. The legislation hurls obstacles in the way of utility-scale solar and wind projects. It does so by giving new authority to county commissioners, or county executives and councils, permitting them to squash such clean energy development at the start of the approval process.

County officials also gain the power to establish restricted zones in unincorporated areas, where solar and wind development would be barred entirely, though residents could challenge a ban by collecting signatures to place a referendum on the ballot.

This veto-worthy legislation follows other wrong turns in energy policymaking. For example, the notorious, scandal-drenched House Bill 6 gutted the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, along with subsidizing two unnecessary coal plants. Republican lawmakers have all but shut down wind power development by establishing severe setback requirements.

July 11, 2021 Mary Sparks