The energy standards freeze bill continues to be a hot debate in the state’s capital. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talked to a faith-based group of opponents as the House moves closer to a vote.
Faith-based leaders are the latest group to take a stand against the bill, which would freeze Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable standards for electric utilities. Pastors from around Ohio said they support the current policies, claiming that their beliefs spur them to endorse guidelines that encourage green energy and protect the environment.
Rev. Robert Martin from the First Presbyterian Church in Athens says his building has gone through several renovations to become more efficient, saving the church about $6,000 in a year.
Although Martin says there’s a clear benefit to investing in the efficient changes, he says the church couldn’t afford the renovations without the state’s current policies.
“And when there’s a partnership between the state, the utilities and local congregations or businesses, I think it benefits everyone" Martin said. "If the freeze were in place, I don’t think those monies would’ve been available. So I think there’s an incentive to try to get people on board now to reduce cost now and to reduce use now.”
The Republican-backed bill was scheduled for a possible vote in a House committee on Wednesday but that meeting was canceled. The Plain Dealer reports a shorter freeze is now in the works, after House Speaker William Batchelder said he didn't have the votes to pass the current bill.