Ohio lawmakers recommend halting state's renewable energy, efficiency mandates


COLUMBUS, Ohio – After months of work, a legislative study committee has recommended that Ohio should indefinitely freeze its renewable-energy and energy-efficiency mandates.

Gov. John Kasich's administration, however, has balked at the idea, calling a continued freeze "unacceptable."

Such a recommendation marks a blow for environmentalists and other supporters of the standards, which Republican lawmakers froze last year after utilities and manufacturers objected to them.

The Energy Mandates Study Committee, in a preliminary report released Wednesday, concluded that Ohio should only require utility companies to get 2.5 percent of their power from renewable energy and cut customers' power usage by 4.2 percent. 

The original mandates, passed in 2008, gave utilities until 2025 to slash customers' power usage by 22 percent and get 12.5 percent of their power from solar, wind, and other renewable sources.

"The Study Committee believes that continuation of the Mandates will be too costly for Ohioans

, and that the penalties for not attaining the Mandates are overly punitive," the report stated. (by Jeremy Pelzer, Clevland.com)