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Kasich, Ohio Republicans Vote To Harm Ohio Businesses

By The Reverend Published: July 8, 2014

Ohio Governor Kasich says that he's all about helping business. Kasich is a supply sider who still believes, wrongly, that continually giving breaks to business and a rich few will eventually trickle down prosperity to the not-rich. So, why did 70 manufacturers and organizations in Ohio write a letter to the governor pleading with him to stop his plan to....hurt businesses in Ohio?

A group of more than 70 manufacturers and organizations, including Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. and Whirlpool Corp., are pleading with Ohio Gov. John Kasich to reduce the effects of freezing the state's 2008 renewables and energy efficiency initiative.

“Freezing the standards for two years creates a start-stop effect that will confuse the marketplace, disrupt investment and reduce energy savings for customers during this period,” the letter said. “And this negative effect of the freeze will persist beyond the two years. We expect the result will be higher electric bills and less investment.”

Remember when the daily buzz word in efforts to blame Obama for the sluggish economic recovery was..."uncertainty?" Businesses, we were told by deception artists, weren't hiring and expanding because of all the "uncertainties." It was all hogwash, of course. But it muddled the discussion over what was really ailing the national economy. Average consumers didn't have enough disposable income to drive the economy. There was no "uncertainty" about it.

But with Kasich's freezing of Ohio's renewable energy initiative, a Republican governor and his Republican legislature have decided that "uncertainty" is exactly what Ohio's businesses need more of. I wish these Republicans would make up their minds.

Without doubt, the 2008 Ohio law which Kasich has now shelved for 2 years has been successful.....

Since the standard came into effect, Ohio’s clean energy sector provided 25,000 jobs and at least $1 billion in private sector investment. This has saved ratepayers roughly $230 million, dropping electricity rates by almost a percent and a half….

[Utility company] FirstEnergy’s CEO said that his company is “being hurt by various mandates that drive down electricity demand.” The company has even asked its customers to push for the bill freezing the clean energy and efficiency standards.

Yet FirstEnergy admitted to state regulators that the law’s efficiency standards helped consumers save $2 for every $1 spent. In total, the energy efficiency program has saved Ohio $1 billion in formerly wasted energy.

Jobs created, a billion in new private sector investment, and $230 million in total savings to Ohio's electricity consumers.......all good stuff for consumers and businesses....so why put the renewable energy timetable on hold?

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit whose members include fossil-fuel companies and mostly Republican state legislators, created a model bill for rolling back the standards last year and urged its members to pass similar bills in 2013.

The bill signed by Gov. Kasich June 13 includes language taken from the ALEC model bill. At least 33 Ohio legislators are also members of ALEC. In 2012, Ohio legislators sponsored more than 30 bills reflecting ALEC language and goals.

Ohio Republicans argue that the two year freeze is for the purpose of conducting a "study." Even though jobs have increased in Ohio because of the 2008 legislation, even though Ohio electricity consumers have saved money, even though private sector investment has increased in the state because of the renewal energy goals......representatives of the .1% want to "study" those results.

Eli Miller, Americans for Prosperity’s Ohio state director, backed by the billionaire industrialists David H. and Charles G. Koch, called the proposed law “a prudent step” to re-examine standards that could be a “potential impediment to job creation and job growth here in the Buckeye State.”

Now, Ohio has one more thing to brag about. Our state is the first state in the country to officially roll back renewable energy source standards. Why don't I feel proud?

Will the power brokers who deceive us, once again, as they did when Reagan became president, wreck any and all initiatives to reduce carbon pollution and dependency on carbon fuels. My money is...umm...on the money.

But just think for a minute.....how far ahead of the rest of the world would we be today if we had continued Jimmy Carter's late 1970's emphasis on alternative energy sources?

If it is true that our nation is in decline, look no further for a convincing example of why that might be the case.....than what GOP Governor Kasich and his merry band of ALEC employees just did in Ohio.

The solution? It's the same as it was yesterday. Vote them out of office.

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