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Op-Ed: The Moral Case for Reinstating Ohio’s Renewable Energy Standards

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher G. Kerr for the Cleveland Plain Dealer:Spring is usually a season of warmth, joy and hope in Ohio — especially for the more than 80 percent of Ohioans who identify as Christian. The return of the sun thaws the cold of winter, Earth Day highlights the wonder of creation, and the remembrance of Christ’s Resurrection reminds believers that we are an Easter people.The prospect that the Ohio legislature will extend the freeze on the state renewable energy and energy efficiency standards for several more years, however, has made this season seem unseasonably cold and unusually desolate.Despite this news, the faith community remains optimistic and is taking action — most recently through a Statehouse Faith & Clean Energy Advocacy Day on April 20. There, 200 faith leaders gathered at the Ohio Statehouse and called on lawmakers to exercise moral leadership by “ending the freeze” and reinstating strong renewable energy standards.The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that creation is a gift given by God who calls humanity to “cultivate and care for” creation (Genesis 2:15). Additionally, the Catholic tradition recognizes that environmental degradation harms the life, health, dignity and common good of human persons and communities — especially those who are poor and marginalized.In 2008, the Ohio legislature passed with near unanimity statewide clean-energy and energy-efficiency standards. In 2014, however, the legislature passed Senate Bill 310, which sought to freeze and study these standards for two years.Legislation to freeze the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates for two years is headed to Gov. John Kasich’s desk after passing final legislative votes on Wednesday.Although the Catholic Conference of Ohio asked lawmakers to “prayerfully consider if it would be more prudent for the sake of environmental stewardship to maintain our current policies and not freeze these standards while the study takes place,” Gov. John Kasich signed SB 310 into law.In September 2015, the state’s Energy Mandates Study Committee recommended that the freeze remain in place indefinitely. In response, the Catholic Conference of Ohio again raised moral concerns about freezing standards that will care for creation, the poor and the marginalized.At the end of April, state Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, introduced Senate Bill 320, which would freeze the standards for another three years. On Monday, state Rep. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, introduced a companion measure, House Bill 554.As a person of faith, I strongly oppose SB 320 and HB 554 because they would effectively prevent Ohio from embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency that will care for creation and protect the life and dignity of human persons — especially the most vulnerable. In response, I am proud to stand with Ohio faith leaders from other traditions and support the Ohio Statehouse Clean Energy Advocacy Day goals.Ohio lawmakers can help us all breathe easier for years to come, by unfreezing and fully reinstating Ohio’s renewable energy standards. Until then, Ohio faith leaders will continue to call on state lawmakers to do so.Full item: The moral, people-based case for reinstating Ohio’s renewable energy standards: Christopher G. Kerr (Opinion) Op-Ed: The Moral Case for Reinstating Ohio’s Renewable Energy Standardslast_img

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