The lawsuit filed against Tom Ganley forced me to delay writing about the second part of Kasich’s continuing gaffes on matters regarding renewable energy policy in Ohio.
In late September, Kasich indicated to the Dayton Daily News that he opposed Ohio’s renewable energy mandate that was part of Strickland’s 2008 re-regulation of Ohio’s electric utility markets (re-regulation after the GOP’s 1990s de-regulation proved to be better on conservative think-tank’s “academic” papers than in reality.)
“We better be careful we’re not running up people’s utility bills with a plan that is not achievable.”
First, there is little doubt that the plan is achievable. The plan mandates that 12.5% of Ohio’s electricity be generated by renewable, alternative energy by 2025. The national average is 9%. When Strickland came into office, Ohio was only generating 1% of it’s power by using renewable energies. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Energy (which Kasich proposed in Congress to abolish) has calculated that northern Ohio has untapped potential to be a major supplier of wind-generated energy—more so than than prior estimate.
The Strickland Administration’s renewable energy mandate creates jobs. A point last week the Strickland campaign was all too eager to point out in this press conference (Source: Marc Kovac @ Ohio Capital Blog)
"Northeast Ohio has become a solar powerhouse with the opening of Wyandot Solar Farms – a facility that boasts 159,000 solar panels all made in Ohio," Strickland said.
"Wind power is also continuing to soar," he continued. "Just this year, wind companies in Northeast Ohio announced that they are building five new wind turbines on Lake Erie – the first step toward a 10-year plan to build the equivalent of a full-scale power plant fueled by wind."
When Governor Strickland took office, fewer than 100 companies in Ohio were pursuing work in the wind supply chain. Now, Ohio has more than 684 manufacturing companies pursuing work in this field. [Data Extrapolated from the Great Lakes Wind Network]
Strickland noted that Ohio’s energy policies not only spur job growth in advanced energy manufacturing, but also the manufacturing sector in its entirety.
"According to a recent study by the Deloitte Consulting, advanced energy policies are one of the top priorities of the manufacturing industry," Strickland said. "SB 221 reformed the way that energy rates are set, keeping electricity rates predictable, transparent, and ten percent below the national average."
As for Kasich’s concern that the mandate might result in out of control utility rate hikes (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Strickland, noting a 3 percent cap within the policy to restrain costs, said Kasich’s comments show his views are reckless.
"It is an example of shallow and uninformed rhetoric," Strickland said.
Strickland pointed to the wind turbine projects along Lake Erie as proof the advanced energy mandate is helping the state’s economy grow.
The Dispatch notes that utilities have yet to show any problem meeting the benchmarks in the electricity utility reform package.
How likely can Ohio’s industries meet the mandate by 2025? One company in Butler County that manufactures parts for electric wind turbines just erected their own wind turbine.
Kasich really should keep his mouth shut. Just like he did with education two weeks ago, Kasich demonstrates that on matters of important state policy he is a reckless ideologue who just has no clue what he is talking about.