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Give Ohio a real chance to win the Amazon HQ2 bid by keeping state clean energy standards intact

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Photo source: Flickr/Robert Scoble

In 2016, Ohio lawmakers tried to gut the state’s clean energy standards, which had created thousands of jobs and saved Ohioans over $1 billion on their electricity bills. They almost succeeded, until Gov. John Kasich stood up for Ohio’s clean energy economy and vetoed the harmful bill.

Now state legislators are back with a new bill – House Bill 114 – that has the same agenda: Destroy Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency standards.

By requiring electric utilities to lower energy-use and sell increasing amounts of renewable electricity, these standards send a signal to the investment community that Ohio is open for business. And businesses want clean energy – Amazon, for example, frequently decides where to locate its data centers and other facilities based, in part, on the availability of clean energy. The internet giant is currently looking for a site for its second headquarters (or HQ2), and Columbus, Ohio has just been named one of the top 20 finalists.

If Ohio legislators are serious about winning the estimated 50,000 jobsassociated with Amazon’s new HQ2, the lawmakers should maintain the clean energy standards and reject House Bill 114.

Harmful bill

House Bill 114 would gut the state's clean energy standards by making them voluntary goals rather than enforceable standards, and by lowering the overall targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

The bill would also exempt certain large electric utility customers (like manufacturers) from paying an equal share of the clean energy standards’ implementation costs. Essentially, these customers with big utility bills would benefit from energy efficiency – such as by cutting electricity use and considerable costs – without having to pay an equitable part of the expense for putting the efficiency standards into action.

Creating exemptions lets big companies pay less, as Ohioans pay more. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), creating exemptions from Ohio’s efficiency standard would likely lead to more than $6 billion in added energy and health costs over the next decade.

Clean energy benefits

Ohio is now home to more than 100,000 clean energy jobs, and three out of four clean energy workers in the Midwest work in energy efficiency, the region’s largest clean energy industry. Ohio also leads the Midwest in clean energy manufacturing jobs.

In addition to creating jobs, renewable energy and efficiency are improving public health. 

In addition to creating jobs, renewable energy and efficiency are improving public health. According to a recent study, Ohio’s clean energy standards are projected to reduce Ohio’s annual carbon pollution by about one million tons between 2017 and 2029 — equivalent to avoiding emissions from the annual electricity consumption of 1 million homes. The same study demonstrates that reinstating the clean energy standards at the start of 2017 (following a two-year freeze) is projected to prevent 2,230 asthma attacks, 230 heart attacks, and 140 premature deaths.

Amazon potential

Today, many businesses have corporate sustainability goals that require them to use clean energy. Amazon has a long-term goal to use 100 percent renewable energy, and, as mentioned above, factors in the availability of clean energy when choosing where to put its facilities.

Cleveland and Cincinnati are among the cities vying for Amazon’s HQ2, and both cities have a realistic chance to win. In fact, since 2015, Amazon has located three data centers and two product warehouses in central Ohio; two wind farms in northwest Ohio; and a product warehouse in Cleveland. Let’s give these cities every opportunity to win their bids – and earn 50,000 jobs – by keeping Ohio’s clean energy standards intact.

Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards create jobs, grow the economy, reduce utility bills, and prevent harmful emissions. House Bill 114 would move Ohio backwards, and put opportunities like Amazon’s second headquarters at risk.

Republished with permission from the Environmental Defense Fund


Gordon Ziegler's picture
Gordon Ziegler

There is a new model of science known as the Unified Field Theory and the Unified Particle Theory. This model of science is one that Einstein tried for thirty years to discover, but was unable.
Within this new science are the discoveries of clean energy.
Clean energy comes from a particle accelerator called the Electrino Fusion Power Reactor (EFPR). This is done through the fusion of the half particles of electrons (semions), in a particle accelerator.
When electron semions are fused, they switch from matter to antimatter and vice versa; so, when the half particles are fused, antimatter will be produced (negatrons), which will collide with the matter (protons and neutrons) in the walls of the accelerator, annihilating one nucleon each reaction, and producing a burst of gamma rays. The gamma rays are collected by photovoltaic cells and converted into electricity.
In the initial design, one accelerator would produce 1,880 megawatts of power for less than 50 million dollars as compared to the Grand Coulee dam which produces 2,000 megawatts, or a modern nuclear reactor which can produce up to 1,250 megawatts and cost over ten billion dollars. Currently there are 100 nuclear reactors in the United States producing 100,000 Megawatts of power. It would take 54 Electrino Fusion Power Reactors to replace all nuclear facilities in the United States.
Electrino Fusion energy is 1000 times more efficient than a nuclear reactor, with no carbon emissions or radioactive wastes. It can use virtually anything for fuel and can go one-hundred years before refueling is needed. It would be easiest, however to use Copper for annihilation fuel.