SLIDE 2:Welcome and thank you for participating in today’s webinar entitled: Ohio’s Clean Energy Future Under AttackI am Tracy Sabetta ___ (insert title/role) and I’ll be facilitating the webinar
SLIDE 3: We’d like to first thank the co-sponsors of this webinar – OEC, Sierra Club, NWF and ELPCPresenting on tonight’s webinar will be: myself – I will give an introduction to the issue and walk through what Ohio’s clean energy standards areTrish Demeter, with the Ohio Environmental Council will cover the successes thus far of Ohio’s clean energy standards and describe the threat that these standards are under.Brian Kunkemoeller, with the Sierra Club will then talk about ways in which you can help in the effort to protect Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards.
SLIDE 4:Electricity. We don’t think about it much but we depend on it all the time. And here in Ohio, we use an enormous amount of electricity every day. In fact, there are only 17 nations in the world that use more electricity annually than we do here in Ohio. It turns on our lights, runs traffic signals, brightens dark streets, operates our hospitals and ----
SLIDE 5:It also provides the foundation for our economy—from energy intensive heavy industry to distribution and logistics to retail stores to agriculture and food processing. All depended on available, reliable and affordable electricity. For years we really didn’t pay attention to what were called hidden costs of electricity. We knew that Ohio was blessed with enormous amounts of coal—and that coal was the lowest cost way to generate power. It helped build a strong economy that supported hundreds of thousands of families. It made Ohio a leader in the automotive industry, in metal working, in glass, in distribution and in agriculture and food processing.
SLIDE 6:But it also made Ohio a national leader in sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and other toxic air emissions. And left a legacy of destroyed land across coal country.
SLIDE 7:Although we learned more and more about the negative side of Ohio electricity and although newer and cleaner generation sources were available, Ohio never established standards about how electricity sold here was made. And so, we entered the 21st century with more than 90% of our electricity coming from the combustion of coal and almost all the rest coming from nuclear power plants.
SLIDE 8:That changed five years ago. On May 1 2008, Senate Bill 221 was signed into law establishing portfolio standards for all retail electricity sold in Ohio. In light of today’s constant partisan divides, it is hard to remember that SB 221 was proposed and signed by a Democratic Governor and was passed by a Republican controlled legislature with only one dissenting vote. That was possible because it was supported by a broad coalition of Ohioans—manufacturers, organized labor, environmentalists, consumer advocates, community organizations, health care institutions, businesses in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and more.
SLIDE 9:The new law established three portfolio standards. The first two are combined in a requirement that by 2025 25% of electricity must come from alternative generation. Alternative generation includes both renewable energy and advanced energy technologies.
SLIDE 10:Renewable energy: By 2025, at least 12.5% of retail electricity sold in Ohio must be generated from renewable sources, including one-half percent from solar. And at least half of that renewable energy must be generated in Ohio. Renewable sources include wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass, fuel cells and others. The law established annual benchmarks to achieve the final goal.
SLIDE 11:Advanced energy: By 2025, as much as 12.5% of retail electricity sold in Ohio must be generated from newer cleaner technologies. These include certain combined heat and power systems, clean coal technology with the design capability to control carbon dioxide emissions, advanced nuclear technology and others. The law did not establish any interim benchmarks.
SLIDE 12:The third standard recognized that reducing the amount of electricity used through investment in energy efficiency was critical. Energy efficiency: By 2025, electric distribution companies in Ohio must achieve a cumulative annual energy savings in excess of 22%. The law established annual interim benchmarks to achieve the final savings. The companies are also required to implement programs that will result in significant reductions in peak demand (that time when the demand for electricity is at its highest).
SLIDE 13:The goals of SB221 were to establish a diverse source of electric generation, to take advantage of new technologies using them to expand Ohio’s economy and to generate electricity from cleaner sources. So how have we done? According to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, all electric utilities are currently meeting the portfolio standards.
SLIDE 14:When the portfolio standard was passed, Ohio had one commercial scale wind project; it had 4 turbines and could generate 7.2 MW of electricity. Today, there are more than 215 turbines in operation with a capacity of 450MW. This represents the investment of almost one billion dollars to date. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved new projects totaling 372 turbines and 712 MW. More than 100 Ohio companies now provide component parts to the wind industry, employing 7500 people.
SLIDE 15:In solar, Ohio now has more than 160 solar supply chain businesses employing more than 2,900 people. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacture of components in photovoltaic panels. At least 56 MW of solar energy is currently installed across the state and Ohio ranks 16th in the nation in installed capacity.
SLIDE 16:Due to the energy efficiency standards, Ohio has now saved over 3 million megawatt hours of electricity. And, according to a recent report from Advanced Energy Economy Ohio, almost 10,000 jobs in this field generate $2.1 billion in annual sales. The bottom line is simple: Ohio’s portfolio standards are successfully building a cleaner energy future for Ohio. BUT…
SLIDE 17:These standards are under attack. In legislation already signed into law the renewable energy definition was broadened and the advanced energy technology definition was broadened to the point of being almost meaningless.
SLIDE 18:And then late last year, there was an attempt by First Energy to roll back Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Standard. But that effort was defeated. That didn’t stop them from coming back to the Statehouse early this year.Now, the Ohio Senate is holding hearings on Senate Bill 58. Sponsored by Senator Bill Seitz (a Republican from Cincinnati and a leading member of the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council), the bill is reopening all the portfolio standards just five years into implementation. So far there have been three hearings on this legislation, which have produced claims that wind energy is produced only at night and no one uses the electricity, that Ohio has no solar energy resources at all, and that we have all the coal and shale gas that we will ever need.SB 58 is considered placeholder legislation – as it doesn’t propose any actual policy changes at this time – but it is the vehicle for any rollbacks in the weeks and months to come.
SLIDE 19:The argument frequently heard is that natural gas, newly abundant and at historically low prices, solves all the concerns that led to the standards five years ago. Back then, very few saw the coming of the shale gas boom in Ohio and elsewhere. There is no question that the technology advances that allow extensive horizontal drilling and the hydraulic fracturing of geological formations (what we call “fracking”) have made far more natural gas available. And it is true that natural gas prices are currently low. But a couple of other things are also true. First, extensive and serious environmental concerns have been raised about this new source of natural gas and the very process of fracking. Many of the questions cannot be answered until far more data is collected and analyzed. On a larger scale, many experts argue that shifting to natural gas only gets us a temporary reprieve from the most damaging environmental effects of fossil fuels. Second, natural gas has a long history of being one of the most price volatile commodities. And projections about future price have been difficult at best and sometimes notoriously inaccurate. Today, the price of natural gas is slowly trending up from its historic lows. Long term gas purchase contracts—that would be needed for a major shift to gas fired electricity generation—always add in a substantial cost to account for price volatility. And, finally, the electric utilities are quoting today’s low gas prices at the wellhead; they have not told us what it will cost to build the pipelines and new generating plants required to actually provide the electricity. There is no compelling argument to abandon or seriously weaken Ohio’s commitment to clean energy. The portfolio standards are working. They are driving billions of dollars of investment in Ohio. Thousands of Ohioans are working in these fields.
SLIDE 20:YOU ARE ESSENTIAL TO PROTECTING OHIO’S CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE!!! The original portfolio standards were passed because they were supported by an incredibly broad coalition of Ohioans: manufacturers, organized labor, environmentalists, hospitals, economic development officials, local elected officials and community organizations. That same coalition is needed to protect the progress we have made. Your voice must be heard. Here are some things that you can do: Hand write a letter to your State Senator and copy your State Representative and Governor John Kasich. You can use these websites to determine who your state Senator and Representative are, and to find Governor Kasich’s mailing address. Your letter should state simply that you 1) Believe Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards are working – reducing emissions, creating jobs and helping Ohio’s economy and 2) Urge your lawmaker to retain Ohio’s Clean Energy laws as they are today.
SLIDE 21:2 . You can also join us at the statehouse at 3pm on April 23rd. The last in the series of hearings is being held then and you show your support for these standards by attending. If you have questions or would like further information about the 23rd, you can contact Seth Johnson at 614-377-6339 or Brian Kunkemoeller at 614.461.0734 x310.3. Lastly, you can submit testimony for the April 23rd Hearing. You can testify in person or submit written testimony that will become part of the official record of SB 58 proceedings. In order to submit testimony – written or in-person testimony – it must be received by Senator Seitz’s office by 4:00 p.m. EST on Monday, April 22nd. Call or email Trish Demeter if you’d like to do this: 614-487-5829 or Tdemeter@theoec.org
Ohio clean energy standard under threat Webinar (April 18, 2013)
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Presenting Partners Ohio Environmental Council Ohio Sierra Club National Wildlife Federation Environmental Law and Policy Center
The Results: EnergyEfficiency Ohio’s efficiency standard has saved theequivalent amount of energy that wouldbe generated by a 125-Megawatt powerplant continuously running 24/7/365 Energy efficiency is job intensive – andthe jobs cannot be exported
Shale Gas Opponents of Ohio’s clean energystandards argue that the energylandscape, since 2008, has changeddramatically and therefore investmentsin clean energy no longer make sense But natural gas prices are volatile, andenvironmental concerns are still largelyunknown
Get Involved Write a letter to your State Senator andcopy your State Representative andGovernor Kasich http://www.ohiosenate.gov http://www.ohiohouse.gov http://governor.ohio.gov Letter should state: Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards are working Urge them to retain Ohio’s Clean EnergyLaws
Get Involved Attend a Hearing on April 23rd Contact Brian Kunkemoeller at 614-461-0734ext. 310 or Seth Johnson with ELPC at 614-377-6339 Submit Testimony for April 23rd Hearing Written or In-person Testimony is due by 4:00p.m. on Monday, April 22nd to Sen. Seitz’s office Contact Trish Demeter at 614-487-5829 orTDemeter@theoec.org
More InformationTo learn more, visit the www.theOEC.org.Questions?