Gov. John Kasich has signed the controversial bill freezing Ohio's alternative energy standards for two years – becoming the first state in the country to pull back on green energy mandates.
Environmentalists, consumer organizations, green energy businesses, manufacturers and even faith leaders had been lobbying Gov. Kasich not to sign the bill. But it wasn’t a surprise that he did. It was well known that Kasich was involved in discussions with Republican lawmakers who wanted completely scrap the 2008 law that required the state’s electric utilities to get 25% of their power from alternative sources by 2025, with half of those being renewable energy sources, and that he viewed the freeze as a compromise.
The law says the standards will start up again in 2017 unless the legislature moves to do something else with them.
While other states are considering legislation to halt their energy standards, Ohio is now the first one to stop them – though backers of the law stress that it is only a freeze to allow for an examination of the costs and the benefits of the mandates. But opponents say they fear it’s the first move to eliminate the standards entirely.