[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Ohio House plans 'significant changes' to energy bill 

The Ohio House of Representatives plans to revamp Gov. Ted Strickland’s comprehensive energy bill.

“There will be significant changes,” State Rep. John Hagan, Republican of Alliance, who chairs the House Public Utilities Committee, said Wednesday. “It’s a work in progress.”

The bill aims to end Ohio’s seven-year experiment deregulating the electric utility industry while simultaneously fostering the development of wind turbines, solar arrays and high-tech coal and nuclear plants over the next couple of decades. It would require the utilities to generate 25 percent of the power they sell by 2025 with such technologies.

In an interview during a break in hearings on the legislation, Hagan said the bill as written is unworkable.

Proposed as a “hybrid” by Strickland, the law would try to retain state regulatory control over electric rates while holding open the door that it might allow utilities in the future to set rates on wholesale prices instead – if a competitive wholesale market exists in the state’s opinion.

Utilities would have to file traditional rate cases or prove a competitive market actually existed.

“The bill has elements that stand in the way of going to market,” Hagan said. “In other words, the hybrid comment is more of a feel-good thing than reality.”

Among the changes the House is likely to insert into the bill:

The requirement that an objective standard be created to determine whether a competitive wholesale market exists rather than leaving it up to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

FirstEnergy Corp. has lobbied for this standard. And Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander has pushed lawmakers to test future rates set by the PUCO against rates based on wholesale prices, especially in FirstEnergy territory because its regulated rates are the highest in the state.

The Akron-based utility has also made it clear that it will challenge any law that forces it back into full regulation. The company moved legal ownership of its power plants to an unregulated subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions, as allowed by the existing 1999 deregulation law.

That threat, along with FirstEnergy’s rates, has given lawmakers the motivation to negotiate some sort of compromise.

“We have to go through in detail how we can achieve the objectives of protecting consumers and allowing a market – if a market exists,” Hagan said. “And it looks a lot like there is a market potential, if not today, then in the future.”

Setting periodic benchmark percentages for the amount of power utilities must generate with advanced-energy technologies. The benchmarks would be spread over the next 17 years rather than waiting until 2025 to see whether the utilities have made the 25 percent mandate. The administration deliberately did not include interim minimum benchmarks, even though the 25 other states that have renewable and advanced-energy standards have such interim requirements.

Most of these states have “escape clauses” in the benchmarks, Mark Shanahan, Strickland’s energy adviser, told the committee. The administration did not want to force utilities to build or buy such technologies until U.S. makers get established and ease current shortages, Shanahan said.

Wednesday’s four-plus hours of hearing consisted of a panel of experts – Shanahan; Migden-Ostrander; Craig Baker, vice president at American Electric Power; Dave Rinebolt, executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, an advocacy group; and James Taylor, senior fellow with the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit group that favors free-market solutions to social and economic problems.

Taylor blasted the idea of requiring utilities to build or lease advanced-energy facilities, arguing that even if the entire nation adopted a rule to require 25 percent advanced-energy power by 2025, it would have no effect on global warming.

The administration did not make the proposal as an answer to climate change, Shanahan said, but rather as an economic development initiative to create jobs in Ohio.

Hearings are expected to continue through February, when the committee will allow public testimony. The Senate approved the measure Oct. 31 after a six-week whirlwind of hearings.

By John Funk
Plain Dealer Reporter

The Plain Dealer

10 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky