The following testimony was given by OHCEF Executive Director Tyler Duvelius to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, June 6, 2018:
Chairman Balderson, Vice Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member O’Brien, members of the committee – Good afternoon. My name is Tyler Duvelius, I am the Executive Director of the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum. The goal of OHCEF is to provide a vehicle for individuals, organizations, and businesses to join the conservative conversation about Ohio’s energy future. We believe that a diverse all-of-the-above energy portfolio, one that includes traditional sources like coal, oil and natural gas, as well as clean and renewable forms of energy, will prove to be a competitive advantage for Ohio in the 21st Century. By embracing all sources of energy, we will lower costs by increasing our commitment to developing reliable, homegrown energy sources.
I am here today to offer testimony in favor of Substitute House Bill 114. This bill is a responsible, well thought out compromise that will allow certainty for businesses that are looking to create thousands of jobs and invest billions of dollars into the Ohio economy. I applaud this body for their work in creating a sound energy policy that will positively shape Ohio’s future.
In this bill, reasonable standards have been introduced that will diversify Ohio’s energy portfolio without impeding competitive choice and the free market. Furthermore, businesses will no longer have to worry about a moving goal post. They will be able to accurately forecast the Ohio market for the foreseeable future.
OHCEF was also incredibly pleased to see the proposed compromise on wind setbacks. As you know, the current setback law, passed in 2014, has acted as a de-facto ban on new private sector development in Ohio.
This chamber has demonstrated consistent leadership in working to give property rights back to Ohio landowners while also creating an environment that attracts and retains businesses and jobs. These fixes to the current setback law are a signal to job creators that Ohio remains open for business and is in concurrence with the views of an overwhelming majority of conservatives across Ohio.
Recent polling by OHCEF found that 76% of Ohio conservatives are in support of revising the current wind setback. In addition to the numerous economic and business benefits, these fixes will ensure that Ohio landowners are able to utilize their land to maximize the profitability of their farms for their families. When businesses demand access to wind-produced energy, our state is best served by listening and responding to that market demand. Revising the wind setbacks is a major step forward for our state.
In conclusion, Substitute House Bill 114 is a well-reasoned compromise that has the potential to unleash thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic investment in Ohio. This bill adheres to free-market principles that are supported by Ohio conservatives and fixes a burdensome government regulation that will return property rights to Ohio landowners. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum is appreciative and supportive of the leadership shown by this body in the crafting of Substitute HB 114.
Thank you for your time. I am happy to answer any questions the committee may have.