Only two bills were introduced in August that impact energy and the environment. We have summarized those bills below. In addition, Governor Kasich has announced an energy summit scheduled for September 21-22. A short overview of that event is also included in this month’s Legislative Roundup.

New Bills

House Bill 304 – Representative Nikki Antonio (D-Lakewood) introduced a new bill that will direct the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to immediately suspend the issuances of permits to drill for oil or natural gas in Lake Erie. As part of the ongoing debate about safety surrounding traditional and new “horizontal” drilling for oil and gas on both public and private lands, this bill is another in a series of legislation introduced on the topic.

House Bill 306 - Representative Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) recently introduced House Bill 306 in the Ohio Legislature. HB 306 creates a new code section requiring all buildings built using state capital funds or moneys from the education facilities trust fund meet certain green building and energy efficiency standards.

The bill requires all buildings that meet the qualifications above meet at least silver status for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); at least two green globes from the green globes environmental assessment and design system; or meet an equivalent standard developed by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. In addition, buildings must meet at least one energy efficiency standard, including 30 percent of the standard established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), or achieve at least a 77 on the national Energy Star rating system.

The bill requires the state to make reasonable efforts to use Ohio products. It exempts any buildings that are under 5,000 square feet, that costs less than $500,000 to construct, or do not consume energy through heating, ventilation and cooling systems. The language also includes a waiver provision for projects receiving less than 10 percent of their costs from state capital dollars or education facilities trust fund money.

Statehouse News

The Ohio Governor’s 21st Century Energy & Economic Summit – Governor Kasich is organizing a summit on September 21-22 on The Ohio State University campus to discuss energy and the environment’s interplay with Ohio’s economy today and into the future. According to event sponsor Battelle’s website, this invitation-only event will take, “informed points of view to craft an energy policy that will support the State’s long-term economic growth and job creation.”

Themes for the summit include:

  • Power Generation, Transmission, Demand and Efficiency
  • Coal
  • Wind, Solar, and Efficiency: The Role of Renewable in Ohio’s 21st Century Economy
  • The Impact of Marcellus and Utica Shales on the Ohio Economy – including the effect on:
    • Upstream development
    • Mid- and Downstream and Feedstock Opportunities
    • The Environment, Technology, and Community Impacts
  • The Future of Ohio’s Transportation Industry, and
  • Ohio’s 21st Century Energy Policy

The discussion surrounding the 21st Century Policy will include considerations on regulations, human capital and education, Ohio manufacturing, and our state’s natural resources and the environment.

To learn more about the summit, go to the Battelle website.