GREENWICH NEIGHBORS UNITED APPLAUD ENERGY MANDATE STUDY COMMITTEE’S REPORT

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Greenwich Neighbors United (GNU), a group of property owners map_of_greenwich_ohwho joined together to coordinate efforts to voice concerns about a proposed industrial-sized wind turbine park in Huron County, applauds the report of the Energy Mandate Study Committee which recommends that there be no further escalation in the mandates until the impact of federal requirements are better understood. GNU had submitted a letter to the Committee on March 10, 2015, urging a repeal or indefinite suspension in the escalation in of Ohio’s electricity mandates.
The Energy Mandate Study Committee was created by Sub. SB 310 of the 130th General Assembly and consisted of a bipartisan panel of members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate along with the chairperson of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. The Committee was tasked to study Ohio’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction mandates and the hidden taxes that the mandates force Ohio’s electric consumers to pay. After six months of testimony, members of the Committee released their report stating that the current pause in any further escalation in mandates and there hidden taxes should continue indefinitely due to the ongoing uncertainty over the federal government’s Clean Power Plan. The report said, “Prematurely enacting legislation to comply with a federal rule that may never go into effect seems irrational and could saddle Ohio ratepayers with extraordinary and unnecessary costs.” Without further action by the General Assembly, the mandates and their hidden taxes will begin to escalate each year beginning in 2017.
Kevin Ledet, Chairperson for Greenwich Neighbors United, said “We are pleased that the members of this Committee looked at all the facts, heard hours and hours of testimony, and sided with Ohio ratepayers. Mandates are extremely expensive, they hit poor people the hardest and the citizens of Ohio are the ones paying the tab while for-profit wind manufacturers reap the benefits.” Ledet said, “I’m glad the Committee made recommendations that benefit Ohio citizens, and I’m glad GNU participated in the process.” He cautioned that the report is not enough to protect consumers. “Now we urge the General Assembly and Governor Kasich to act quickly to prevent the resumption of the escalation in the mandates, their hidden taxes and the massive subsidization of wind farm developers that occurs through the mandates and at customers’ expense” he added.