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Future Murky For Bill That Rolls Back Renewable Energy Standards

Wind turbines in Blue Creek Township in Paulding County, Ohio.
Wikimedia Commons
Wind turbines in Blue Creek Township in Paulding County, Ohio.

Lawmakers are pushing bills through the General Assembly as the clock winds down on this session, which ends next month. But it appears one high-profile issue may be left out of the mix.

For more than a year, Republican lawmakers have been trying again to repeal or roll back renewable energy standards, which require utilities to ratchet up their use of renewable energy, which could lead to more wind and solar developments in Ohio.

While conservatives see these as expensive mandates, Republican Senate President Larry Obhof believes this issue might have to wait until next year.

“We do have some pretty tight time constraints I think it’s more important for us that we get policy right and not that we do it just because we have some self-imposed, arbitrary deadline. If we get to a place that we’re comfortable with it we’ll pass it and if we don’t then we won’t,” says Obhof.

Gov. John Kasich vetoed a similar bill two years ago.

Environmental and green energy advocates have said these standards help the state move away from fossil fuels and promote alternative resources.

But opponents say the market is already favorable to renewable energy projects so the state shouldn't provide what they see as subsidies for the industry.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.