Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Vox has written a hilarious article about how giving people who love clean energy a choice about whether to use renewables would destroy the industry.
Ohio clean energy standards are toast unless Gov. John Kasich steps in to save them
The legislature wants to make them voluntary.
Updated by David Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org Dec 13, 2016, 9:30am EST
Renewable energy is extremely popular with the American public, across partisan lines. The evidence is found not only in polls, but in tangible action at the state level: 29 states and Washington, DC, have passed some version of a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires state utilities to get a minimum percentage of their power from renewables.
The closest any state has come was in 2014, when Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed a law suspending the state’s clean energy mandates for two years.
Now that two years is up. But the Ohio legislature has just passed a bill that would make the RPS voluntary, effectively extending the suspension, for two more years. The bill is on Kasich’s desk; he will either sign it into law or veto it soon.
Kasich has said he wants to end the suspension. “I think we should embrace these renewables,” he told reporters on November 30. “We think these goals that were established for renewables, both solar and wind, can be met.” He added that “I just would hope the legislature will not have a headline that Ohio went backward on the environment.” However, he stopped short of saying he would veto the bill.
Now he’ll have to make that decision.
Why does “popular” green energy require rigid government enforcement? Why can’t people be free to make their own choices? Surely if renewables are as popular as Vox claims, people don’t have to be coerced – they will embrace clean energy of their own free will?