A step in the right direction

It’s hard to believe there wasn’t already one in place, but better late than never as Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration starts work on the Buckeye State’s first climate action plan.

According to a report by Energy News Network, the state is seeking $189 million in federal Inflation Reduction Act dollars to establish a statewide fund. That money would be used for electrifying government fleets, retrofitting public buildings and — for those of you still hung up on the electricity for those vehicles being provided by fossil fuels — install solar generation on city, county and state properties.

Energy News Network reports the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority were looking for a quick start to the work, and decided leading from the top was the way to go.

“Governments really control significant assets in terms of fleets and building stock across Ohio,” Brooke White, an air quality evaluation and planning supervisor with the Ohio EPA, told Energy News Network.

Ohio’s climate plan — the Priority Resilience Plan — starts with cutting emissions, renewable electricity generation and building energy efficiency. The grant program would send 60% of its funding to low-income and disadvantaged communities, ENN reported. The idea is not only to improve air quality in those communities, but to add jobs in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicle industries.

“Resilience funding is climate funding, and it’s also smart city planning,” Joe Flarida, executive director of Power a Clean Future Ohio, told ENN. He also said, “local governments are just the start of this work. It’s the tip of the iceberg.”

Good. A statewide plan for getting it right as we diversify and expand our economy while trying to do a better job for the planet and the people on it is essential. If the federal government sees potential in it — and is willing to send money­ –all the better. But municipal, county and state officials must not stop here. This must be just the beginning.



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