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Cleveland Coalition Makes Case For Keeping State Energy Standards

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Note: An earlier version of this story suggested that American Electric Power opposed the energy standards, but Nolan Moser, Staff Attorney, Director of Energy and Air Programs for the Ohio Environmental Council, says that is not the case.

A group of Cleveland leaders and environmental advocates are proclaiming their unified support for Ohio’s Clean and renewable Energy standards. As ideastream’s Brian Bull reports, the legislature is reviewing the 2008 law for possible change.

Monday, April 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

The law gives electric companies until 2025 to produce a fourth of their kilowatt-hours from renewable or advanced sources.

And, they must help customers cut their use of electricity by 22 percent by the same year.

Backers fear that changing or axing the laws altogether will undo gains made in curbing pollution, creating green jobs, and increasing energy efficiency.

Al Frasz is President of renewable energy company Dovetail Solar and Wind.

He says the potential threat to the laws has already had a negative effect on economic development across the region.

"Many developers now are getting very nervous, when they start seeing that there’s a discussion about potentially wiping out the standard," says Frasz. "They’re afraid to start new projects. And I understand that Ohio is just one of 26 states that have these kind of standards. So if Ohio isn’t support it, those projects will go elsewhere very quickly, as well as the jobs that support them.”

Frasz was among a half dozen advocates from across the Greater Cleveland area who gathered to speak out in favor of the Clean Energy Laws.

Some major power providers, including First Energy, have argued that the energy standards restrict growth, hurt their bottom line, and ratchet up rates for consumers.

Legislative hearings are scheduled to resume today.

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