Ohio Must Have A Clean Energy Future
Since our last Statehouse update, we have changed Speakers in the Ohio House because Larry Householder has been accused of engaging in what the US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio described as, “Likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever” in Ohio history.
At the heart of the $60 million dollar bribery charges are an apparent dirty deal to bail out unprofitable FirstEnergy nuclear and coal plants through legislation titled House Bill 6.
Beyond this most recent Statehouse scandal, I would argue that a clean energy future is critical to Ohio. The question Ohioans need to ask themselves is do you want clean energy to power our economic future or do you want to remain in the smog age?
To illustrate that point, let me offer the theory of ‘sunrise industry vs sunset industry’.
The Japanese used this illustration to describe what is a growing economic sector versus a declining economic sector. We all know that economies and markets change. We want to be where the economy is growing. It is perilous for your region to be dominated by sunset industries.
One of the best examples of the sunrise vs sunset analogy is Fortune 500 lists. Who is on it now – who was on it 30 years ago – who will be on it 30 years in the future?
The need for electricity will not decrease as Earth’s population grows. The economic opportunity of renewable power, a more flexible grid and clean transportation are limitless. These markets should be pursued not shunned. Ohio currently trails our Midwest neighbors by a factor of 3x or 4x in wind power wattage. The wind industry believes Ohio has 10 times the capacity than we are currently producing. That’s $3 billion dollars’ worth of paychecks NOT being cashed in Ohio. These expanding, sunrise markets would cause employment growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says two of the biggest job growth occupations in next ten years will be wind turbine tech and solar panel installer. Future Fortune 500 lists will be powered by clean energy. Ohio companies need to be on that list.
State Representative Kent Smith represents Ohio’s 8th House District which includes Beachwood, Euclid, South Euclid, Richmond Heights, East Cleveland, Woodmere Village, and a little bit of the City of Cleveland.