Public Policy Research Education and Advocacy
F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E Contact: David Hughes
May 14, 2003 412/421-6072
COLUMBUS, May 14 – Regional energy advocacy organization Citizen Power is in full support of the enactment of a Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) in Ohio. Citizen Power assisted in the preparation of the legislation being introduced today in the Ohio General Assembly by Senator Robert Hagan and Representative Mike Skindell.
“It’s time for Ohio to join the growing list of states that are implementing a RPS,” said David Hughes, executive director of Citizen Power. “We congratulate Senator Hagan and Representative Skindell for showing innovative leadership by taking this historic step toward a sustainable energy future for Ohio.”
Citizen Power joined other environmental and consumer organizations last year in giving testimony before the Ohio House Joint Energy Policy Committee. In that testimony, the benefits of instituting an RPS in Ohio were detailed, including the fact that “homegrown renewable energy can stimulate up to $3.8 billion in new growth and up to 59,000 new jobs.”
“We recognize that in Ohio ‘coal is king’, but coal is not the healthy or long term answer to Ohio’s energy needs, Hughes said. Imagine if all those working in the coal industry were gradually retrained to work in a fast growing renewable energy industry in Ohio. This can be done if the political will is there. Renewable energy is not a futuristic technology; it is being used throughout the United States. It is competitively priced, so there is no reason to continue relying on outdated and harmful technologies when cleaner and safer ways to generate electricity are now available,” Hughes continued.
“The recent near disaster at the Davis Besse nuclear plant, where a huge hole developed in the reactor pressure vessel head, shows just how dangerous nuclear power is,” Hughes said. “The fact that both coal and nuclear power rely on finite fuel sources is reason enough for Ohio to begin the process of phasing in new energy generation sources.”
“Two-dozen states have already enacted RPS legislation. Ohio should join them and become an energy leader, utilizing our strong manufacturing and agricultural history to build a healthy and sustainable energy future. Senator Hagan and Representative Skindell are taking a big first step in that direction and Citizen Power urges the members of the General Assembly to do the right thing and enact this critically needed legislation,” Hughes concluded.