News Release: IO Proposes Energy Policy Principles

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2011
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833


Guiding Principles for Ohio Energy Policy
IO Weighs In On Eve of Gov. Kasich’s “Energy Summit”

Columbus: With Governor John Kasich’s invitation only “Energy Summit” scheduled to kick-off tomorrow, Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today laid out five principles that it said should serve as a philosophical foundation for policy-makers.

IO President Janetta King said:

“We congratulate Governor Kasich for hosting this Summit and agree that a sound energy policy is vital to economic development in Ohio. Happily, Ohio is already a national leader in a variety of energy-related areas. Instead of forfeiting that leadership by throwing out what we’ve accomplished, we urge Governor Kasich to build on the strengths we already possess. It is in a spirit of collaboration that we offer five principles that we hope will guide the Governor and energy policy-makers.”

IO’s five principles are:

Energy customers should be on equal footing with energy suppliers, and homeowners should not be asked to subsidize business energy users

Ohio’s electric rates are 10% below the national average and that competitive advantage must be sustained. Ohio “job creators” include electricity-intensive manufacturers who need affordable, reliable and predictably priced power.

Especially since the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel had its budget sliced in half, homeowners need protection. Proposed rate plans like those apparently contemplated by AEP, in which business users would receive rate cuts, while residential users would suffer a nearly 11% rate increase, should not be tolerated.

Ohio should retain its leadership in “green” jobs and advanced energy technologies

Ohio has built one of the most aggressive advanced energy portfolios in the nation, ranks among the top 5 states in the creation of green jobs, and is a world leader in the wind-power supply chain. Ohio should insist on maintaining this leadership, and should reject ill-conceived efforts like the proposed SB 216 which would dismantle Ohio’s advanced energy portfolio standard and weaken our manufacturing base.

Ohio should create a policy for natural gas “fracking” that protects our environment, builds wealth in Ohio’s communities and creates permanent jobs for Ohioans, not out-of-state companies.

Natural gas should be treated as a component of Ohio’s energy mix, not a silver bullet that would solve all our energy problems. Though fracking may have its place, it must not be allowed to despoil the air, water, and soil of eastern and southern Ohio. And policy-makers must keep in mind that Ohio’s natural resources should produce wealth for Ohioans, not be a vehicle through which we transfer our wealth out of state.

Improved energy efficiency should be a top priority

Efficiency is the not only the cheapest form of energy, it also helps the environment, decreases our reliance on fossil fuels and is a sure source of savings as the cost of power inevitably increases.

Modernization of Ohio’s energy-producing infrastructure must not be ignored

Ohio’s energy infrastructure should be treated not as an after-thought, but as an extension of our job-creating strategy. Accordingly, it should be geared toward the economy of the future, not that of the past.

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