HUDSON, Ohio — In October 2018, I used to be watching “60 Minutes” with my spouse after an extended day of campaigning, when an advert paid for by a darkish cash group known as “Hardworking Ohioans’” got here on, spreading blatant lies about me. I knew this was extremely costly TV advert area and couldn’t consider what I used to be up in opposition to. So, whereas I used to be appalled to be taught of former Speaker Larry Householder’s alleged $60 million racketeering scheme, I wasn’t shocked when Hardworking Ohioans was one of the groups implicated.
After beating again these assaults, I joined the legislature and nearly instantly confronted Home Invoice 6, which we now know was on the core of Householder’s alleged scheme. I sought enter from my constituents on the invoice, and their responses matched polling that showed an overwhelming majority of Ohioans opposed HB 6. As an alternative, they confirmed help for a clear power economic system that drives financial growth whereas decreasing air pollution from outdated and uncompetitive power assets. I opposed HB 6, not solely as a result of it supplied a bailout to a chronically failing company, but in addition to 2 failing coal vegetation whereas sunsetting our power effectivity and renewable portfolio requirements. Sadly, we misplaced that struggle.
Till the recent revelations, it seemed as if the scheme had labored. But it surely was not then, neither is it now, the need of the individuals. Actual hardworking Ohioans can’t afford to bail out a chronically dependent company whose dangerous investments we’re already subsidizing. The Cleveland-Akron space has one of the highest rates of air particle air pollution in the USA, resulting in worse well being outcomes, just like the childhood bronchial asthma that afflicts my daughter.
I take no pleasure in Householder’s fall. However that is our alternative to begin anew, and we will achieve this in a manner that transcends politics. Instead of HB 6, I suggest a brand new imaginative and prescient for Ohio. One which embraces our legacy of innovation and allows us to guide the nation within the renewable power revolution.
We will get there by reestablishing our power effectivity applications, which saved Ohio over $5.1 billion from 2009 – 2017 and supported the employment of 80,000 Ohioans, typically in unionized positions. We will restore our renewable power portfolio requirements, setting Ohio on a path towards 100% clear energy generated proper right here at residence.
We will remove the burdensome rules purposely applied to kill the wind business, and make reforms that carry our rules in step with our neighboring states, leading to as much as 3,000 megawatts of new wind projects by 2026, and unlocking $four.2 billion in funding alongside the way in which.
It isn’t simply wind energy that Ohio has shut itself off from. Client demand for solar energy is rising, but many Ohioans are unable to speculate as a result of their lack of homeownership or funds. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have addressed this discrepancy by allowing neighborhood photo voltaic by way of digital web metering, permitting people to buy solar energy from distributed photo voltaic turbines regardless of the place they dwell. Ohio ought to do the identical and provides customers a option to help native, clear solar energy.
We will make actual investments in our power infrastructure, specializing in power transmission and storage. We will leverage our state’s prominence in superior instrumentation to create a sensible power grid. Ohio has a possibility to leverage our world-class manufacturing functionality and lead within the energy-storage revolution that’s reworking our world power panorama.
I joined the U.S. Air Pressure Academy after I was 17 years outdated. It was by way of my experiences there and within the armed forces that I developed my sense of integrity and what it means to serve. These values information me to today. Repealing HB 6 is an ethical — not a political — difficulty. We should meet this second as public servants, not politicians, and swiftly repeal HB 6 to revive belief in Ohio’s authorities.
State Rep. Casey Weinstein of Hudson is a Democrat representing Ohio’s 37th District.
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