By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network
A bill for cutting carbon emissions calls for equity in job training and transition programs, an office of energy justice, increased oversight, and curbs on utility influence over regulators.
Ohio Democratic lawmakers plan to emphasize potential economic benefits as they try to persuade Republican colleagues to support an ambitious new bill aimed at pushing the state to 100% clean energy by 2050.
Reps. Stephanie Howse, D-Cleveland, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, previewed the Energy Jobs and Justice Act (HB 429) at Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center on Tuesday. Ten other Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors.
“We’re at an inflection point — not just in Ohio but globally — as we seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are wreaking havoc on our global environment and our Ohio environment,” Weinstein said.
Among other things, the 265-page bill calls for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by 2030, compared to a 2005 baseline. That target would increase to 100% by 2050. The bill would also set an energy waste reduction goal of 22% by the end of 2030.
The bill aims to level the playing field for renewables to compete against fossil fuels. Among other things, it would fix the property line setbacks for wind farm turbines that were tripled in 2014. There would be more flexible options for community solar and virtual net metering. And steps for grid modernization would improve reliability and efficiency.
Sponsors and supporters of House Bill 429 spoke at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland on September 21. Left to right: Crystal Davis, Alliance for the Great Lakes; SeMia Bray, Black Environmental Leaders; Stephanie Howse, D-Cleveland; Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson; Ela Mody and Jenny Williams, constituents of House District 37; Kwame Botchway, Global Shapers; Miranda Leppla, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. Credit: Kathiann M. Kowalski
Energy justice and equity
Equity concerns drive the need for