President Obama’s energy mandates threaten Ohio’s economic growth

By State Rep. Jim Buchy - Contributing Columnist

President Obama’s emissions and clean-energy mandates will slow our economy and raise electric bills. The price tag for the president’s mandates will plague Americans even after President Obama becomes distant memory. A majority of the energy requirements that make up the Environmental Protection Agency’s 111d section will require tax dollars to be allocated for wind turbines and solar panels. However, the best option for a stronger economy is affordable energy that powers business and job growth.

The Environmental Protection Agency has established a three-tier building block with guidelines that may increase energy costs for citizens and businesses throughout Ohio. Affordable energy is a key factor in driving economic competition, allowing sustainable operation costs for businesses to grow in the state of Ohio. Section 111d standards will hinder economic growth and increase utility costs for Americans. The 111d section will place increased regulation on carbon dioxide emissions for coal and natural gas powered plants, which could force power production plants to shut down, raising our electric bills.

The threat posed by the EPA in section 111d has been a focus of the Ohio Legislature for over a year. In the 130th Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 506. The bill was introduced to stop the federal EPA from restricting Ohio’s energy prosperity. Under House Bill 506 section 111d would not have the ability to cripple Ohio’s economy. The bill, which eventually died in the Senate, established guard rails for the Ohio EPA as they outlined an energy plan compliant with 111d. Any steps to modernize energy production should be done strategically.

In many cases, alternative energy is unaffordable without government grants. The focus should be creating energy reliance on clean, American sourced and dependable energy. Avoiding alternative energy funded by government handouts will provide energy security when the federal dollars are no longer allocated.

In the 131st General Assembly, House Bill 349 has been introduced. House Bill 349 will require the legislature to have input in all 111d proposals submitted to the federal EPA. In order for Ohioans to be protected from high electric costs, the EPA emissions plan must be verified by state leaders who answer to the voters. The Environmental Protection Agency should not be trusted to make decisions of this magnitude without the consent of Ohio’s elected legislators. Currently, the EPA has the ability to set regulations without voter input. House Bill 349 would balance the power of the EPA.

Keeping a watchful eye on the regulation of the Environment Protection Agency is important at the state and federal levels to ensure cost-efficient and environmentally sound power production. We will work diligently to provide affordable price protection on electric bills in Ohio and a clean environment.

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By State Rep. Jim Buchy

Contributing Columnist

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.