June 2, 2014
The Honorable John Kasich
Governor of Ohio
77 S. High Street, 30th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Governor Kasich,
I write to you today to share my concern with SB 310, a bill that will significantly weaken Ohio’s laws that diversify how we produce energy, will likely raise electric rates, and could leave Ohio at a competitive and moral disadvantage compared to other states. I urge you to veto SB 310 and will stand with you in support of retaining Ohio’s successful clean energy laws.
As a person of faith and as an Ohioan, I know firsthand the positive impacts that the renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency standards have all across the state. Overall the energy efficiency standards have saved every Ohioan on their electric bills, including many churches, and other places of worship. Prior to having these standards in place, there was no systematic way to help people save significant money on their electric bills.
For example, in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, a high school took advantage of the required utility rebate incentives for boilers and lighting to complete a $300,000 energy upgrade and after 10 years when the rest of the loan needed to complete the project is paid off, the school will save $30,000 a year in utility costs.
But beyond the financial benefits to low-income families and non-profits like our schools and parishes, I see the current law as entirely consistent with a central tenet of our faith: each of us must care for God’s good gift of creation and exercise prudence in energy resources that are a common heritage of all God’s people. In addition, less polluting technologies and dramatically increasing energy efficiency is beneficial to human health. Limited, non-renewable sources of energy are also contribute to premature deaths, especially in the elderly, and are particularly harmful to the unborn and young children.
As Pope Francis recently said, “Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for our own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvelous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”
It seems to me that the process leading up to this bill was driven by a handful of special interests. And studies have shown that by signing SB 310 into law, it is very likely that electricity rates will increase for Ohio citizens, businesses, schools and houses of worship.
I respectfully ask for you to seriously consider the consequences of SB 310, and ask for you to veto SB 310.