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Suppressed energy jobs report proof positive of bad intentions behind energy freeze, say lawmakers

New legislation would restore benchmarks, promote transparency of public studies
November 21, 2014
Democrat Newsroom

State Reps. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) Friday discussed the suppression of a green jobs report that showed Ohio had significantly more jobs tied to renewable energy than the number estimated during the debate to freeze renewable energy standards.

Commissioned in March of 2012 and completed in February 2013, the report found that there were over 31,000 green jobs in Ohio, far more than the estimated 25,000 that was reported during the debate on Ohio’s renewable energy freeze, Senate Bill 310.

“Downplaying the number of green energy jobs in Ohio was a disingenuous move by the GOP,” said Rep. Foley. “Because the legislature ultimately weakened Ohio’s energy standards, the future of our strong green energy sector—and the jobs it provides—is unclear. Catering to the wishes of big energy lobbyists should never have taken precedence over the best interests of our constituents.”

The jobs report went unpublished for nearly 16 months until after Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 310 into law in June 2014—a move that prevented Ohioans’ full access to the critical information during the legislation’s contentious debate.

“It is our duty as legislators to craft legislation based on the best, most accurate information available,” said Rep. Ramos. “With the additional information revealed in this report, we know that the green energy sector plays an even larger role in our state economy than previously thought. Our energy efficiency standards must be restored so that green jobs are secured and so Ohio can regain its position as a leader in energy sustainability and attract the jobs that come with it.”

Some 30 states have adopted renewable energy plans. Ohio is the first state to step away from their standards. The lawmakers say they will soon introduce legislation to increase Ohio’s renewable energy benchmarks and to require that all taxpayer-funded reports commissioned by the government are published online.