In what could be the final shocking 2016 political twist in Ohio — Gov. John Kasich has vetoed House Bill 554, an energy bill that says electricity utilities need to meet an annual standard for investing in renewable energy. Under the new bill, the standards would have become optional and would allow for an easier path for businesses to opt out.
Cutting through the jargon it boils down to this:
In 2008, standards for energy companies to invest into clean energy were put in place, but those standards were put under a freeze in 2014. House Bill 554, would have more or less, extended the freeze for an additional two years, while also making it easier for companies to drop out of having to adhere to these standards.
The major proponents of the bill argued that these standards are costly and the consumers are eating the cost while opponents argue that clean-energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency are good for Ohio and promote healthy investment in future technology.
Kasich vetoed the bill, a major win for environmental advocates and subsequently pissing off the entire Ohio GOP.
To top it off? He also used his line-item veto powers to reject another GOP backed tax break to the oil and gas industry.
“It is unlikely that the General Assembly intended for this item to yield such a significant loss of tax revenue, with a corresponding reduction in state and local services, to provide even more favorable tax treatment to an industry that is already comparatively lightly taxed,” Kasich said in his veto message.