John Kasich, who bills himself as a “conservative” while campaigning for the 2016 GOP nomination, is pushing for more severe “green energy” mandates in his home state of Ohio.
According to Bizjournals.com, Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said:
A continued freeze of Ohio’s energy standards is unacceptable and we stand willing to work with the Ohio General Assembly to craft a bill that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources while preserving the gains we have made in the state’s economy.
Andrews continued that when the governor signed Ohio Senate Bill 310 last year, he “rejected the efforts by those who’d like to kill renewable-energy and energy-efficiency efforts altogether.”
Last year, Kasich created the Energy Mandates Study Committee, which has recommended that a freeze on “green energy” mandates be continued “indefinitely” in Ohio, advice that Kasich appears ready to dismiss. The committee writes:
The US EPA, by promulgation of the proposed CPP, seeks to change the energy landscape significantly across the United States. Each state, including Ohio, will be handed interim and final targets that dictate carbon dioxide emission levels. However, there are a number of outstanding questions about the CPP that the US EPA has yet to answer, in addition to federal court lawsuits that challenge the very foundation of the rule. Until the US EPA provides greater clarity on the operation of the CPP, and until litigation is resolved, the General Assembly should freeze the Mandates at their current levels.
As Watchdog.org reports, a new group of Kasich supporters called the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum (CEF) is also urging more restrictive energy mandates. The group is led by Mike Hartley, who was also named Ohio director of Kasich’s presidential campaign. Similarly, Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis– Kasich appointee to the state medical board–is a member of the Ohio CEF leadership council.
Other supporters of the group include Kasich campaign promoters Ohio Young Republicans and the Ohio Federation of College Republicans.
According to its website, the Ohio CEF leadership council states:
The goal of the OHCEF is to provide a vehicle for individuals, organizations, and businesses to join the conservative conversation about Ohio’s energy future in pursuit of an all-of-the-above energy policy that lowers systemic costs by increasing commitment to developing homegrown clean energy resources and expanding energy efficiency.
While green energy lobbyists are backing Kasich and Ohio CEF as “conservative” supporters of more severe energy restrictions, free market think tank Opportunity Ohio President Matt Mayer said, “I’m bewildered by Gov. John Kasich’s leftish stance on energy issues.”
“From his tax hike attack on the oil and gas industry to pro-renewable mandate support, Kasich frankly isn’t much different than a Democratic governor would be,” he added. “Unfortunately, his anti-free market energy positions will increase costs on businesses and consumers in Ohio and lead to job losses.”