Energy Innovation: From the Fire to the Future

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Northeast Ohio has a long history with industry and sustainability. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River burned, making Cleveland's industry the center of national headlines and simultaneously sparking the catalyst for the passage of the Clean Water Act. Around the country, coal production has been on the decline since 2008. Despite this decrease in a mainstay energy source, renewable energy accounted for only 11 percent of American energy production in 2015. Simultaneously, since 2011, natural gas production in Ohio and nationwide has increased more than twelve-fold, largely due to the extraction of natural gas below the Utica Shale.

In 2011, Ohio’s 267 million metric ton carbon footprint and less than 3 percent renewable energy use ranked Ohio third last in energy consumption, but cities have been working to turn those statistics around. Toledo even recently earned the nickname “Solar Valley” because of the large presence of solar manufacturing. In December, Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed a bill that would have made renewable and efficiency standards voluntary for the next two years, making comprehensive energy reform in Ohio an option.

Given Ohio’s long, complicated history with energy and sustainability, what does the future of energy in Ohio look like? Join us for our last Youth Forum of the school year with a panel discussion on what the future of energy looks like for Ohio and for the nation.

Panelists include:

Alexis Abramson, Ph.D., Director, Great Lakes Energy Institute

Willa Evans, Chair, Civil Rights Committee, United Steelworkers Local 979

Beth A. Nagusky, Director of Sustainable Development, Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo)

Anand Natarajan, Energy Manager, The City of Cleveland

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