Ohio lawmakers again seek to eliminate renewable mandates

COLUMBUS (AP) — Majority Republicans in the state Legislature are again seeking to eliminate the state’s renewable energy requirements with a measure similar to one that Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed last session.

The House bill introduced this past week would get rid of mandates that currently require utilities to generate or buy and sell a percentage of power from alternative and advanced sources, such as solar, wind and clean coal.

Under the legislation, utilities would no longer face penalties for not meeting annual benchmarks for purchases of renewable energy and would instead have optional goals. Many businesses would be able to opt out of electricity-bill charges that pay for utilities’ clean-energy programs.

The bill has more than 50 co-sponsors, including all of the Republican leadership.

“We just wanted to have a strong showing of support,” said Rep. Louis Blessing, a Cincinnati Republican and the lead sponsor.

Blessing said utilities have indicated to him they would continue clean-energy programs even without the mandates and want the flexibility of no longer facing penalties for not meeting standards.

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