Action Alert

Background In October 2007 Representative Jim McGregor (R - HD 20 - Gahanna) introduced HB 357. The bill had some good provisions, which would have helped Ohio move to increased research, development and investments in renewable energy sources. We were very concerned about provisions that would open “developed” portions of state owned land for oil and gas drilling.

In February 2008, House Speaker John Husted announced plans to move the renewable and advanced energy provisions of SB221 (which contains Governor Strickland’s energy proposals) into a new measure to be offered by Representative McGregor. That new measure, HB487 does not allow for oil and natural gas drilling in state parks or preserves.

So while we have an apparent success, we are still very concerned that: A) The oil and gas-drilling lobby will not stop their efforts to find a legislator willing to help them open public lands for their private sector enterprises, and
B) HB 487 contains language that defines "Renewable energy resource" as solar photovoltaic or solar thermal energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, fuel derived from municipal solid waste through a process other than combustion, biomass energy, biologically derived methane gas, or energy derived from non-treated byproducts of the pulping process or wood manufacturing process, including bark, wood chips, sawdust, and lignin in spent pulping liquors. "Renewable energy resource" includes, but is not limited to, a fuel cell powered by any such energy, any storage facility that will promote the better utilization of renewable energy resources and primarily operates off peak, or a distributed generation system used by a customer to generate electricity from any such energy.”

Our concern is that the road to the wood “by-products” will lead straight into the woods and then into our public forests. We already know that the Division Of Forestry is planning thousands of acres of prescribed burns in the Shawnee Forest and is preparing to take 520 tons of hardwood pulpwood from Blue Rock State Forest (southeast of Zanesville). Given the budget shortfalls and our unquenchable thirst for energy sources, it does not take much to imagine the run on our public forests this legislation could create.

We want to make sure that House Speaker John Husted hears very clearly that burning wood pulp and wood “by-products” is not a clean renewable energy resource.

You can HELP – take action now - Make A Call

Call Speaker John Husted’s office early the week of April 7th. Thank him for his strong support for energy efficiency and let him know you support developing renewable energy resources as long as we do not include burning pulpwood or other wood byproducts, municipal solid waste or tires. The office number is 614-644-6008