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Kill Expensive Mandate Now

December 2, 2013
By THE INTELLIGENCER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Ohioans already are paying more for electricity because of a politically correct state mandate that part of the power needs to come from "renewable" sources. As utilities continue moving to comply, it will get worse. A typical family may find themselves paying hundreds of dollars a year solely to ensure the state appears "green."

As attention on the unacceptable cost of the mandate has grown, there have been calls for state legislators to rescind it. That would make sense.

But in a victory for liberals who insist the rest of us pay unreasonably to live as they see fit, it appears the rule will remain in place.

A bill had been introduced in the General Assembly to scrap the renewable energy mandate, enacted in 2008. But The Associated Press reported last week state Senate Public Utilities Chairman William Seitz, R-Cincinnati, said the reform bill has been altered.

It apparently will allow the mandate to remain in place at least through 2018, before being lifted.

As the law stands, utilities are required to produce 12.5 percent of their power from "renewable" sources such as wind, solar and hydropower, by 2025. Another 12.5 percent of energy must be obtained from "advanced" sources such as nuclear reactors or clean coal generating stations, also by 2025.

Those provisions will not be changed, Seitz told the AP. But some tweaking of the original bill will occur. For example, utilities will be able to use methane gas converters to meet the requirements.

And how's this for crazy? Other amendments include allowing hydroelectric power from Ohio River dams - but not from those in Canada - to count toward the utilities' requirement. Hydroelectric power is a great idea, of course. Who cares where it comes from?

Wind, solar and other exotic "renewables" are not so great, however. They are extraordinarily costly, and Ohioans already are paying more for them.

The "renewables" mandate should be killed immediately. Ohioans should be permitted to buy their electricity at the lowest cost possible.

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