by German Lopez
Ohio could weaken energy rules, city wins green award, Obamacare beats projections
CityBeat is participating in a City Council candidate forum on Oct. 5. Have any questions you would like to ask candidates? Submit them here.Ohio legislators appear ready to weaken environmental and energy regulations
after months of lobbying by Akron, Ohio-based utility company
FirstEnergy. The utility company argues the regulations, particularly
energy efficiency standards that require customers use less electricity,
cost businesses and customers too much money. But environmental groups
and other supporters of the rules say FirstEnergy is just looking out for its own
self-interests while putting up a front of caring about others. A
study by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy
coalition found eliminating the energy efficiency standards
would cost Ohioans $3.65 billion more on electricity bills over the
next 12 years. State Sen. Bill Seitz, who’s spearheading the
regulation-weakening efforts, formally introduced his bill yesterday, and business groups say it’s a backdoor way to eliminate energy efficiency standards and the in-state renewable business by weakening them so much.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati on Tuesday announced it won a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of local
efforts to draw down dirty energy production and replace it with clean
sources. The Cincinnati area currently produces nearly 408 million
kilowatt-hours through green energy sources, which is enough to cancel
out nearly 60,000 cars’ emissions and meet 14 percent of the community’s
purchased electricity use, according to city officials. To commemorate
the award, Mayor Mark Mallory unveiled a Green Power Community sign at
the Cincinnati Zoo, which installed solar panels on its parking lot in
2011 and became one of the region’s leading clean energy producers.
Raw health insurance premiums for Obamacare’s online marketplaces will be 16 percent lower than previously projected,
according to the latest estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office released less than one week before marketplaces open on
Oct. 1. In Ohio, the average family of four making $50,000 a year will
have to pay $282 a month after tax credits for the second cheapest
“silver” plan, or $486 less than the plan would cost without tax
credits. Under Obamacare, online marketplaces will allow consumers to
compare and purchase subsidized health insurance plans in the individual
market. The plans only apply to the individual market, which means the
majority of Americans, who are currently getting insurance through an
employer or public programs, will be under a different insurance system
and won’t qualify for the online marketplaces’ tax subsidies. CityBeat covered outreach efforts for the online marketplaces — and Republican attempts to obstruct them — in further detail here.
Commentary: “Let Them Eat Nothing?”
The Charter Committee, Cincinnati’s unofficial third
party, yesterday endorsed Roxanne Qualls for mayor. The endorsement
comes as little surprise to most election-watchers, considering the
Charter Committee has endorsed Qualls four times over the years.
The Cincinnati Enquirer is displeased
it couldn’t cover a private mayoral debate between Qualls and
ex-Councilman John Cranley because the group hosting the debate closed its doors
to the public.
Ohio Democrats yesterday made their endorsements for 2014: Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald for governor, former
Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper for attorney general, State
Sen. Nina Turner for secretary of state, State Rep. Connie Pillich for
state treasurer and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John
O’Donnell for the Ohio Supreme Court.
This infographic released by an anti-privatization group shows the negative impact of private prisons. CityBeat covered Ohio’s own privately owned prison and the problems it’s faced, including rising violence, in further detail here.
A federal grand jury charged a North Canton man
for allegedly making illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Rep. Jim
Renacci and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Both candidates returned the
campaign contributions after they became public in stories published by
the Toledo Blade and The New Republic.
A 43-year-old Hamilton man allegedly used a poison-laced knife to stab his brother-in-law.
A supposedly sexist gorilla is getting kicked out of the Dallas Zoo after 18 years.
by German Lopez
Local green power cancels out emissions from nearly 60,000 cars
Cincinnati officials announced on Tuesday that the city
had won a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) because of local efforts to draw down dirty
energy production and replace it with clean sources.
The Cincinnati area currently produces nearly 408 million kilowatt-hours
through green energy sources, which is enough to cancel out nearly
60,000 cars’ emissions and meet 14 percent of the community’s purchased
electricity use, according to city officials.
“EPA is pleased to recognize the Cincinnati, Ohio
community with a Green Power Community of the Year award for its
leadership and citizen engagement in dramatically increasing its use of
green power,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement. “We
applaud Cincinnati’s residents, businesses and organizations for
choosing green power that will help address climate change and support a
clean energy future.”
To commemorate the award, Mayor Mark Mallory unveiled a
Green Power Community sign at the Cincinnati Zoo, which installed solar
panels on its parking lot in 2011 and became one of the region’s leading
clean energy producers.
The Cincinnati Zoo’s project is one of the many
developments that led advocacy group Environment Ohio to declare that
Cincinnati could become the solar capital of the region.
Cincinnati also adopted an aggregation program in 2012,
which supposedly allows residents and small businesses to get lower
electricity prices through 100 percent green power.
On June 14 and again on Sept. 1, the EPA ranked the Cincinnati area No. 6 in the nation
for locally purchased green power. The June ranking made Cincinnati the
first Green Power Community in Ohio and surrounding states.
The city administration says Cincinnati’s successes have
pushed other cities, including Cleveland and Chicago, to pursue their
own clean energy efforts.
In Ohio, state Republicans, led by State Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, appear ready to adopt looser environmental regulations after months of lobbying from Akron, Ohio-based utility company FirstEnergy.
Seitz is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is attempting to weaken energy and environmental regulations across the country.
A report from the Ohio State University and the Ohio
Advanced Energy Economy found Seitz’s proposal would cost Ohioans $3.65
billion on electricity bills over the next 12 years.
by German Lopez
A performance audit for the Cincinnati Service Department
could save the city $3.7 million. The audit claims $2 million could be
saved every year if the city privately contracted solid waste collection
and street sweeping. An additional $1.7 million could be saved if the
city reduced overtime, sick leave and staffing levels. Along with other recommended savings measures, the changes could
amount to 7.9 percent of Cincinnati’s budget.
Trayvon Martin’s parents will be visiting Cincinnati today to
take part in the national conference hosted by the Children’s Defense
Fund. The conference will target violence and race-related issues.
Procter & Gamble and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
have teamed up to improve environmental sustainability at manufacturing
facilities and supply chains.
The worst U.S. drought in half a century is putting pressure on
oil and gas companies to recycle and conserve water used for fracking.
Fracking uses millions of gallons of water to free oil and gas from
underground rock formations.
Gay marriage has generated $259 million in economic activity in New York City.
The Congressional Budget Office said repealing Obamacare would increase the deficit by $109 billion.
Voters sometimes punish politicians for bad weather.
Some scientists are saying the plot of The Amazing Spider-Man might not be too far off from reality.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
As Earth Day arrives once again, it's comforting to know that our political leaders are safeguarding the environment for future generations. Take U.S. Rep. John Boehner, the pride of Southwestern Ohio. He says the climate changes all the time, people breathe and cows do what they do. Hey, shit happens — literally — so stop worrying.