Talk by Todd Snitchler (Former PUCO Chair)


The talk was on Friday, June 27 sponsored by the Ohio League of Conservation Voters; it was sparsely attended. He noted that the recent restrictive green energy law (SB310) was due mainly to one utility (First Energy) concerned about efficiency costs several years away; otherwise  the green energy law (127-SB221 & 129-SB315) has been working well.

Items of interest involving Ohio’s legislative committee, which will recommend changes to the law, were:

    1)      PUCO and OEPA are preparing a working document (draft final report ?) for them.

    2)      He implied that the law will be modified and not completely killed.

    3)      He mentioned items likely to be included in the working document:

        a)      Restoring combined heat and power and waste heat recovery

        b)      Adding a line charge. This is a ploy used elsewhere to penalize solar installations.



Random thoughts on Wind and Gas

We have two new technologies in Ohio – horizontal drilling (part of the process commonly called fracking) and wind farms. In some ways they are similar. Both are in rural areas that need the jobs. For both, the state makes the final decision where wells can go and where wind farms can go. Local government has no say in these decisions. But then the differences start. Fracking can take plce 150 feet from the nearest home; for wind the distance is 1250 feet and will be from the nearest property line if the Legislature gets its way.

Other differences are also large. Fracking is best in southeast Ohio, while wind is best in northwest Ohio and along the shores of Lake Erie. Fracking is noisy and dirty; wind is quiet and clean.

While both technologies are used in producing electricity, they have different uncertainties. No one knows when the wind will blow. No one knows what the price of gas will be.

But the most important difference is that, if fracking succeeds we wind up doing things the same old way. If wind succeeds, we wind up doing things in new ways. Sadly, we cheer the candidate who offers change, but rebel when change comes.