Ohio becomes first state to freeze renewable energy mandates

Kasich signs bill freezing 'green' energy requirements

Gov. John Kasich has signed a measure that makes Ohio the first state to weaken its renewable energy standards, following a long and sometimes bitter debate that has put the state in a national spotlight. 

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/06/13/kasich-...

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Comment by Penny Gray on June 14, 2014 at 7:58pm

Too bad Gov. LePage wasn't able to pull the same thing off here in Maine.  Here's an excellent comment posted on above article:

KEVON MARTIS (MARTISKEVON)

Senate Bill 310's attempt to freeze Ohio's renewable energy mandate has elicited the typical partisan howls from Ohio's green energy profiteers. They have been quick to paint the supporters of SB310 as slavish supporters of the much maligned Koch Brothers, FirstEnergy or other "dark fossil corporate profiteers". Curiously, these environmental group's normally exquisitely tuned "corporate conspiracy radar" appears to have developed a massive wind-turbine-sized blind spot. Consider: In 1998 it was Enron's Ken Lay who implored George W. Bush to extend subsidies for wind energy. A quick scan of his letter reveals talking points that today could easily be mistaken for the Ohio Sierra Club: "Wind is the fastest growing new electrical generation technology in the world today and has rapidly decreased its production costs until it is close to being competitive with conventional generation technologies." But as shown by Sierra's willingness to take $26 million from gas driller Chesapeake Energy to fight coal, their policy positions can be very nimble indeed-for a price. After Enron's epic fail their wind business was scooped up by General Electric. GE's power generation unit saw great opportunity in the growing alarm over global warming. Traditional coal plants last a very long time, 60 years or more. It is hard to sell new plants when they obsolesce so slowly. But if new CO2 regulations could begin to force premature retirement of still-serviceable coal plants, GE could fill that generation void with new gas generation. Every megawatt of retired coal generation could then be replaced with new (GE) gas generation. That is a fine start but what if there were a way to sell two or three or four megawatts (MW) of new capacity to replace one MW of prematurely retired coal generation? Intermittent wind energy that is wholly reliant upon gas generators for grid integration was the key. But how to create a market share for expensive wind energy which typically arrives at times of low demand and low price? Enter state renewable energy mandates like Ohio's SB221. GE's business is generators. As board members of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) they have been at the vanguard of promoting and protecting renewable energy mandates. Since wind energy is variable and intermittent in output due to the vagaries of weather, one cannot simply replace 1,000MW of baseload coal generation with 1,000MW of wind generation. Replacing such a coal plant with wind generation requires one to construct approximately 1,000MW of gas-fired generation to balance and backup wind's erratic output. For GE that is win-win. They get to sell 2MW of new generation to replace 1MW of perfectly serviceable coal generation being prematurely retired by EPA regulations. But even better for GE is the fact that wind turbines last 20 years- at best. Thus, over the 60 year life of a typical coal plant, not only do ratepayers need to pay for a new 1,000MW (GE) gas generator, they are also compelled to buy 1,000 MW of GE wind turbines AND replace them at least two more times over 60 years. Thus, through the magic of EPA regulation, coupled with high level PR air support from willing accomplices like Sierra Club and furthered by renewable energy mandates like the one SB310 hopes to freeze, corporate giant GE has struck a largely tax free green bonanza. Our "corporate conspiracy" search does not end there. A quick review of the AWEA's board of directors reveals an interesting cast of fossil fuel characters indeed. Iberdrola Renewables' corporate parent is among the largest fossil utilities in Europe. An aggressive opponent of SB310, Ohio wind operator Iberdrola also owns significant fossil fuel generation in the US. Wind works well for Iberdrola: in just one year their US wind investments allowed them to strip mine $1 billion from the US tax code and export it to Spain. Along with German utility E. On Energy and FPL/NextEra, Ohio's fossil giant AEP also enjoys a place on the AWEA board. Could it be that wind subsidies are really just more fossil subsidies? There are many solid reasons for Ohioans to support freezing renewable energy mandates. SB221's instate renewable energy generation mandate violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Worse, Ohio's wind resource is anemic relative to its western peers. This means OH wind is roughly twice the price of Iowa's or Minnesota's. Still worse for Ohio's environment, the center/left Brookings Institute, deeply concerned about climate change, now reports that wind and solar energy mandates like SB221 are the most costly and least effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Anyone can play "find the (Koch) bogeyman." But the truth is that Ohio's renewable energy mandates have largely benefited only one group: entrenched monopoly fossil utilities like AEP, Iberdrola, and corporate behemoths like GE. But what should we expect? It was their idea in the first place.

2014-06-14 08:51:54.0

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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