A controversial Ohio bill may be halting the development of large solar and wind projects in the state for up to three years.
The bill, House Bill 786, will force us to take a giant step backward when it comes to reducing fossil fuel usage, reversing efforts already in place that aim to help our planet see a better and more sustainable future.
What changes will come?
HB 786 will prevent any new solar or wind facilities capable of producing more than 50 megawatts of electricity to be certified. This bill will also prevent smaller scale wind farms from producing five or more megawatts of electricity.
The bill will end after it’s in place for three years, or if the General Assembly creates additional legislation before the three years are over.
This bill will be a significant blockade in efforts to expand and build out existing solar and wind projects that are already underway. Aside from missing out on opportunities to positively impact the environment, the state would also be missing out on the financial and economic benefits that come from using solar and wind energy.
Who’s supporting the bill?
This new bill does not have strong support from the public. Many people believe that the legislation shows just how hostile legislators and lawmakers are when switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Rather than proposing this new bill as something we should be concerned about, representatives are saying the goal of this bill is more like putting a pause button on the world of renewable energy and efforts in place to make solar and wind power more widely available as the go-to option when it comes to electricity.
Bills such as HB 786 prevent us from making sustainable changes that will have long-term positive effects on our environment and require us to continue damaging the planet in the meantime because of the restrictions on solar and wind energy production.
What comes next?
With the bill having such negative feedback and support from the public, we can be hopeful that the bill does not progress any further. Overturning the bill would allow solar and wind energy companies to expand and continue to build out their farms, continuing to help our environment by making these energy sources more accessible.
Although to some, it is merely clicking a “pause button,” the reality is that there will be so much irreversible damage during this pause that is unnecessary and avoidable. Rather than trying to make up for this damage in the future, we can prevent it altogether by devoting time and energy to pushing toward switching the focus to renewable energy resources.
Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.
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