Energy Security in Ohio Under Attack

Post was originally published in The Columbus Dispatch.

[Last week], Senator Balderson put Ohio’s energy security at risk by introducing SB 310, a bill that would impose a freeze at the end of 2014 on the state’s clean energy standards – the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS).

While we’ve seen a fight to weaken the standards over the past year, this latest attempt to impose a direct freeze on the standards is by far the most egregious attack yet.

The proposed freeze would directly threaten Ohio’s energy security and limit our ability to develop a diverse energy portfolio.

As a veteran of the United States Army, I’ve seen first hand the importance of energy access and the threat posed by an over-reliance on a single – and often unsecure – energy source. In Iraq, energy supply disruptions severely limited our ability to conduct operations, and could mean the difference between a successful or failed mission.

That’s why the military is investing in clean energy and energy efficient technologies that provide greater energy security and diversity and strengthen operational capabilities in combat zones and installations here at home, including here in Ohio.

Ohio has emerged as a leader in advancing a clean energy economy since passing the clean energy standards with broad bi-partisan support in 2008.

For Ohio – and the military – diversification is critically important to ensuring secure access to energy.  The standards have been instrumental in diversifying our energy portfolio with clean, homegrown energy, increasing Ohio’s energy security and lowering costs for consumers on their monthly utility bills.

The proposed freeze would cap further growth of the clean energy sector, and we would see a ripple effect through the economy in the way of job-loss, unstable and rising energy prices, and declining private investment.

I call upon lawmakers to stop these senseless attacks on clean energy and to follow the leadership of our military by strengthening Ohio’s commitment to investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Aaron Jewell

Aaron Jewell is a U.S. Army veteran and Operation Free volunteer. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

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