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A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

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The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Clean Energy Standard Freeze "Suffocating" Investment in Ohio?

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Thursday, October 1, 2015   

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A recommendation to keep Ohio's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards frozen at 2014 levels is drawing fire from conservation and environmental groups, as well as Gov. John Kasich.

The standards were put in place in 2008 and last year lawmakers enacted a two-year freeze.

The Energy Mandates Study Committee suggested on Wednesday that state lawmakers continue that freeze indefinitely.

Frank Szollosi, Great Lakes Regional outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, says since the freeze began, the clean energy sector has stopped making investments in Ohio.

"With the decision by the Legislature to continue to suffocate clean energy financing in the state, it basically doubles down on a very bad decision," he stresses.

Kasich's office says a continued freeze is unacceptable, and the governor is willing to work with state lawmakers to devise a new clean energy bill.

The committee says the mandates are costly, and the freeze is needed as Ohio and other states fight the Clean Power Plan.

The clean energy standards require Ohio to reduce energy consumption by 22 percent by 2025, and for at least 12 percent of the state's energy portfolio to come from renewable sources.

And there is evidence they are working, says Laura Burns, Ohio organizer for the Moms Clean Air Force.

"We had already saved a billion dollars in energy bills for Ohioans in the six years prior to this freeze,” she points out. “And 25,000 jobs – is that not something we would like to continue? It's just so disappointing that we would take a step backward."

Szollosi says clean energy is a $270 billion global industry, and at a time when other states are attracting clean energy jobs, Ohio is missing out.

"It should be unacceptable to communities, and businesses, and folks who like to go to work constructing wind turbines, wind farms, installing solar panels, helping families save money on their monthly electric bill,” he stresses. “That's what's at stake. "

Szollosi adds the standards also reduce emissions that threaten health, wildlife and the environment.





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