When HB6 passed the Ohio legislature last year, I was outraged. Lawmakers who supported the bill claimed it would protect Ohio’s workers. But the law bails out nuke and coal plants while simultaneously gutting renewable energy and energy efficiency programs – making Ohio businesses and families pay more for energy to bail out a failing industry.
Now we know HB6 is not just bad for Ohio’s economy. It was passed thanks to bribery, racketeering, and corruption. It’s time to repeal the law and, if we’re serious about creating jobs and building a better future for Ohio, replace it with policies that actually grow our economy and create new employment opportunities across the state.
Clean energy is a good place to start.
At our company, Donovan Energy, we empower people who lead organizations to invest in clean energy solutions that create competitive advantage and improve the world in which we live. That’s because by deploying clean energy projects, everyone can benefit. When we complete projects for clients like the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Cincinnati Art Museum, or the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, we are making improvements that save thousands of dollars on annual utility and maintenance bills.
Since founding our company over four years ago, we have grown to 18 employees.
When I moved to Cincinnati from California in 2013, Ohio had one of the most substantial Renewable Portfolio Standards in the United States. In the last seven years, I’ve seen clean energy grow to become a dynamic industry in our state and across the Midwest. At the end of 2019, clean energy jobs were growing four times faster than overall statement employment while employing over 63 times more Ohioans than nuclear energy.
The recently released Clean Jobs Midwest report shows that clean energy is employing many more people than coal and nuclear combined. At the end of 2019, there were over 114,000 clean energy jobs in Ohio compared to the 14,000 in coal and less than 2,000 jobs in the nuclear industry.
HB6 makes Ohio one of the weakest in the country for clean energy development and attracting new businesses and investment. The future of the industry in our state now lies in question.
HB6 pulled the rug out from under Ohio’s thousands of clean energy workers. Clean energy jobs are good jobs. They’re everything from factory workers manufacturing energy-efficient appliances to building construction managers to solar panel installers.
It’s time to repeal HB6 and replace it with policies that will build our state’s economy for the long-haul, support the clean energy industry, and provide the needed market certainty for new businesses to set up shop and grow here in Ohio.
Tim Donovan is the founder and a partner at the Cincinnati-based Donovan Energy.