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Governor wants more time for development of renewable energy jobs

Gov. Ted Strickland is willing to set yearly goals for the use of renewable power sources but he wants to give utilities more time to ease into compliance than lawmakers proposed, his office said Friday. The Democratic governor responded to changes Ohio House Republicans want to make to his sweeping energy plan. He agrees with the House's plan to set strict deadlines for utilities on using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But Strickland wants the benchmarks to begin in 2015, instead of next year as the House plan specifies.

Gov. Ted Strickland is willing to set yearly goals for the use of renewable power sources but he wants to give utilities more time to ease into compliance than lawmakers proposed, his office said Friday.

The Democratic governor responded to changes Ohio House Republicans want to make to his sweeping energy plan.

He agrees with the House's plan to set strict deadlines for utilities on using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But Strickland wants the benchmarks to begin in 2015, instead of next year as the House plan specifies. Both plans have them fully in place by 2025 to use renewable sources to produce 12 1/2 percent of Ohio's electricity supply.

Manufacturers of the equipment needed to produce renewable power - makers of solar panels, windmills and other products - need more time to produce enough of them to meet the benchmarks, Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said. Strickland wants Ohio companies to make those products, Dailey said.

House Speaker Jon Husted had not yet studied Strickland's suggestions but continues to discuss with him the renewable energy schedule, House spokeswoman Karen Stivers said.

"Clearly, we've... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Gov. Ted Strickland is willing to set yearly goals for the use of renewable power sources but he wants to give utilities more time to ease into compliance than lawmakers proposed, his office said Friday.

The Democratic governor responded to changes Ohio House Republicans want to make to his sweeping energy plan.

He agrees with the House's plan to set strict deadlines for utilities on using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. But Strickland wants the benchmarks to begin in 2015, instead of next year as the House plan specifies. Both plans have them fully in place by 2025 to use renewable sources to produce 12 1/2 percent of Ohio's electricity supply.

Manufacturers of the equipment needed to produce renewable power - makers of solar panels, windmills and other products - need more time to produce enough of them to meet the benchmarks, Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said. Strickland wants Ohio companies to make those products, Dailey said.

House Speaker Jon Husted had not yet studied Strickland's suggestions but continues to discuss with him the renewable energy schedule, House spokeswoman Karen Stivers said.

"Clearly, we've set the bar in the House as far as the benchmarks are concerned. We are not married to a timetable at this time. We want to get it right," Stivers said.

Strickland also renewed his support of leaving final say on rate changes to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, an issue the House has yet to address. The utilities want the flexibility to pursue power on the open market if prices are competitive, but Strickland wants to leave that determination to the PUCO.

"The governor believes the ultimate decision of the price of electricity must remain in the public domain, not in the hands of utility companies," Dailey said.

The utilities remain in talks with the House on the market issue, said Mark Weaver, a spokesman for the Ohio Electric Utility Institute, a trade group representing Ohio's four investor-owned utilities. The utilities were reviewing Strickland's suggestions and had no comment, Weaver said.

"We view this as negotiations between the governor and the House, so we won't be discussing it in public," Weaver said.

The Ohio Coalition for Affordable Power, a group of large commercial consumers, doesn't object to the changes Strickland wants in the House version, spokeswoman Sandy Theis said. The coalition opposes allowing utilities to buy power on the open market without regulatory approval.

Environment Ohio, a nonprofit advocacy group, said it supports the earlier benchmarks because they would guarantee renewable energy development sooner.

 


Source: http://www.examiner.com/a-1...

MAR 7 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13720-governor-wants-more-time-for-development-of-renewable-energy-jobs
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