Gov. Kasich Seeks Ohio Energy Policy Overhaul

Thursday, 01 Mar 2012 06:24 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans a complete overhaul of the state’s energy policies and is working with lawmakers to prepare legislation to make changes in 10 key areas. Kasich and his top policy experts outlined the plans to about 50 of the Cleveland area’s heaviest energy users and producers, which cover everything from the future of shale gas, to maintaining power plants, and increasing energy efficiency, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
 
The new energy legislation is expected to be introduced in mid-March, and will be up for a vote by June 30, the governor said.
 
The rules cover well construction; mandatory disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing; and payments gas and oil producers will be required to make to communities and counties. The policy package also include plans for electrical generation and transmission, power co-generation and alternative fuels.
 
One of the Kasich administration’s plans calls for finding new sources of electric power and connecting them to customers in more efficient “smart grids.” While the plan would help expand customer choice, it also would ensure the shale gas industry has enough electrical power.
 
Another of Kasich’s goals includes using waste heat from industry, such as from blast furnaces, to generate electricity. Power companies participating in waste regeneration could include the work as part of requirements to meet federal mandates for renewable power, Kasich’s administration said.
 
Kasich also plans to push for the use of alternative fuels. For example, his administration is considering converting all or part of the state vehicle fleet to natural gas.

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