Support renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ohio

When a state invests in clean and sustainable energy sources and energy efficiency programs, there is a corresponding reduction in harmful emissions, giving us all healthier air and reducing asthma and lung disease for our kids.

Ohio has one of the highest rates of air pollution in the country. Children face higher risks from air pollution due to their high activity level and developing lungs. According to the American Lung Association, research has shown that fewer episodes of chronic cough, bronchitis, common cold, and conjunctivitis symptoms can be found in children as air quality improves.

We know that reducing energy use and consumption through efficiency programs substantially reduce carbon emissions. In fact, studies estimate that efficiency programs alone could achieve one-eighth to one-half of the reductions necessary to attain a longer-term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60 to 80 percent by 2050.

When Ohio enacted its bipartisan clean energy law in 2008, a trigger was put in place to prevent excessive rate increases and to protect Ohio consumers – and it is working. To date, Ohio utilities have met their requirements in a cost-effective way and as a result, Ohio has cleaner sources of power and at affordable prices. Unfortunately, there is currently a ill-conceived attempt in the Ohio state legislature to roll back that progress – Senate Bill 58.

As consumers, moms and families want reasonably priced energy options that do not put our children’s future at risk. With an increase in power generated by renewable sources and a continued commitment to energy efficiency programs, we can have the best of both worlds. Ohio State researchers recently found that the current energy efficiency standards have saved ratepayers money and weakening them will result in higher energy bills, fewer jobs and increased emissions over the coming decade.

By reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, we can also ensure that the Great Lake we live on will see less mercury pollution. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that harms the developing brains, hearts and lungs of fetuses, babies and toddlers.

All parents worry about the future for their children. We will do everything we can to be sure they have the tools necessary to be healthy, happy, productive members of our society – and that includes having good jobs available to them where they live. Our children will go where the jobs are. We need to maintain our renewable and energy efficiency standards if we are to remain competitive and attract additional business. Unfortunately, the standards that have been working so successfully are now under attack in Senate Bill 58. We cannot stand by and allow Ohio to be left behind again.
Being a good parent means being an engaged citizen. Ask your state senator and Governor Kasich to support the continuation of the effective renewable energy and energy efficiency standards that exist in current law  By continuing forward with this investment, we will help create jobs, clean the air, and protect our children’s health and futures. More information can be found at

Marnie Urso is a Bay resident and Ohio Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force.

Marnie Urso

Marnie Urso is a Bay resident and Ohio Field Manager for Moms Clean Air Force.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:52 AM, 11.26.2013