Staff Reports



Gov. Kasich’s veto message

Pursuant to Article II, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution, which states that the Governor may disapprove of any bill, I hereby disapprove of Substitute House Bill Number 554 (Sub. HB 554) and set forth the following reasons for so doing.

Over the past six years, Ohio has enjoyed the most improved business climate in the nation. Job creators have attributed their reasons for expanding, growing and creating jobs in Ohio to, among other things, our state’s stable fiscal health, jobs-friendly tax climate and sound regulatory policies — as well as our state’s wide range of energy generation options. Sub. HB 554 risks undermining this progress by taking away some of those energy generation options, particularly the very options most prized by the companies poised to create many jobs in Ohio in the coming years, such as high technology firms. The bill would also deal a setback to efforts that are succeeding in helping businesses and homeowners reduce their energy costs through increased efficiency. In fact, according to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, an organization to which many of our electric utilities belong, energy efficiency investments made between 2009-2012 alone have yielded $1.03 billion in savings to date and will result in $4.15 billion in lifetime savings thanks to the state’s existing energy efficiency standards. Furthermore, Sub. HB 554 sidelines some energy options at a time when Ohio can already meet many renewable energy generation standards in current law.

The Administration stands ready to work with the General Assembly to advance strategies for helping ensure competitive energy costs. Ohio workers cannot afford to take a step backward from the economic gains that we have made in recent years, however, and arbitrarily limiting Ohio’s energy generation options amounts to self-inflicted damage to both our state’s near- and long-term economic competitiveness. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.

For these reasons, I am vetoing Substitute House Bill 554.

Making good on his promise, Governor John Kasich vetoed legislation Dec. 27 that would have weakened and delayed implementation of the state’s successful clean energy standards that had been “frozen” by the Ohio legislature two years ago (SB 310). The standards will now go back into effect as of January 1, 2017.

“Governor Kasich’s veto sends the signal that Ohio is back in the clean energy game, and ready to deliver good jobs and a healthy environment to businesses and families,” said Samantha Williams, Staff Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “While the lawmakers who fast-tracked this legislation seem determined to freeze Ohio in the past, the Administration wisely sees that embracing the clean energy shift that is already underway can only help the state move forward. Jobs and investment are coming to the region—the Governor is right to steer them to Ohio.”

Governor Kasich’s veto of HB 554 is a rare rejection of legislation passed by the Ohio legislature’s Republican super-majority, which failed to muster a veto-proof vote margin for the energy bill. Over the last year, Governor Kasich had repeatedly promised to veto such legislation, calling any further delays in implementing the clean energy standards “unacceptable.” Gov. Kasich’s veto is a signal to the growing number of businesses that want clean energy that they can find it in Ohio, not just in Michigan and Illinois, two neighboring states led by Republican governors that have recently upped the ante on their own clean energy standards.

Business opposition to continuing the clean energy freeze was strong, led by national companies like Campbell Soup, Nestle, and Whirlpool Corporation, which collectively employ more than 25,000 people in Ohio. Overall, businesses made the case that uncertainty over the energy standards prevented them from making large-scale investments in the state or had already pushed jobs out-of-state.

The clean energy standards have broad support from Ohioans, who see firsthand the bill savings from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and the environmental and health communities, who championed the standards as a hedge against climate change, a major threat to public health.

Statement by Joe Logan, President, Ohio Farmers Union on Veto of HB 554:

“In 2008, Ohio took a bipartisan and forward-thinking approach to the state’s electrical energy needs and promoted that 25 percent of our state’s electrical generation would be from renewables by 2025.

“The Ohio Farmers Union supported this then, argued against the freeze in 2014 and today we applaud Gov. John Kasich’s veto of HB 554.

“Many of Ohio’s family farmers look forward to a future of American energy independence and see economic opportunities for rural Ohio in the renewable energy sector.

“Gov. Kasich’s action today ensures that Ohio remains a leader in renewable energy – an important selling point for many businesses as they choose where to expand operations. Many consumers have benefited from other aspects of the 2008 legislation such as energy efficiency investments.

“Gov. Kasich chose the right path today and this bodes well for Ohioans both rural and urban.”

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Staff Reports

Gov. Kasich’s veto message

Pursuant to Article II, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution, which states that the Governor may disapprove of any bill, I hereby disapprove of Substitute House Bill Number 554 (Sub. HB 554) and set forth the following reasons for so doing.

Over the past six years, Ohio has enjoyed the most improved business climate in the nation. Job creators have attributed their reasons for expanding, growing and creating jobs in Ohio to, among other things, our state’s stable fiscal health, jobs-friendly tax climate and sound regulatory policies — as well as our state’s wide range of energy generation options. Sub. HB 554 risks undermining this progress by taking away some of those energy generation options, particularly the very options most prized by the companies poised to create many jobs in Ohio in the coming years, such as high technology firms. The bill would also deal a setback to efforts that are succeeding in helping businesses and homeowners reduce their energy costs through increased efficiency. In fact, according to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, an organization to which many of our electric utilities belong, energy efficiency investments made between 2009-2012 alone have yielded $1.03 billion in savings to date and will result in $4.15 billion in lifetime savings thanks to the state’s existing energy efficiency standards. Furthermore, Sub. HB 554 sidelines some energy options at a time when Ohio can already meet many renewable energy generation standards in current law.

The Administration stands ready to work with the General Assembly to advance strategies for helping ensure competitive energy costs. Ohio workers cannot afford to take a step backward from the economic gains that we have made in recent years, however, and arbitrarily limiting Ohio’s energy generation options amounts to self-inflicted damage to both our state’s near- and long-term economic competitiveness. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.

For these reasons, I am vetoing Substitute House Bill 554.

Information for this story was provided by the NRDC, the Ohio Farmers Union and Gov. Kasich’s office.

Information for this story was provided by the NRDC, the Ohio Farmers Union and Gov. Kasich’s office.