RELEASE: Economic Damage from Freezing Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards Provides Cautionary Tale for Kansas
Washington, D.C. — Last year, Ohio froze its successful renewable energy and energy-efficiency standards, making it the first state in the country to have done so. The Center for American Progress interviewed business leaders across Ohio to understand the harmful impacts of the freeze on investment and jobs in the state. CAP’s issue brief serves as a cautionary tale for other states considering actions to roll back or repeal their standards.
A bill to eliminate the renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, in Kansas is up for a committee vote tomorrow.
“Ohio was becoming a leader on clean energy,” said Greg Dotson, CAP Vice President for Energy Policy. “By freezing the state’s clean energy standards, Ohio’s legislature stopped the state’s progress in its tracks. We spoke with many Ohio business leaders who lamented the uncertainty created by the freeze and told us that it has chilled new hiring and investment. Any state considering a repeal of their clean energy policies should look to Ohio as a perfect example of what not to do.”
“Kansas has had great success with our RPS. Most of our utilities are close to the 20 percent requirement,” said Kansas State Rep. Annie Kuether (D). “With the EPA’S Clean Power Plan coming, it would be very foolish to repeal our RPS. As a coal state, using one of our best commodities, wind, should help us put together a great state plan.”
Ohio’s renewable energy and energy-efficiency standards were passed in 2008 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The standards proved to be remarkably successful, resulting in increased investment, employment, and savings for ratepayers. In 2014, at the urging of the energy company FirstEnergy, the Ohio legislature voted to freeze the state’s standards. It also voted to dramatically increase the setback requirements for wind turbines.