Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center
Cleveland – As the summer’s unprecedented heat and drought prompt Ohioans to call for action tackling global warming and the rise in extreme weather, Environment Ohio released a new Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center report today that shows Ohio’s current power generation from wind energy displaces as much global warming pollution as taking 19,000 cars off the road per year. The Environment Ohio report also shows that wind power saves enough water to meet the needs of 1,500 Ohioans.
Environment Ohio was joined by Beth Amburgy, CFO of SUREnergy—a Midwest leader in wind power design and installation—in releasing the Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center report, Wind Power for a Cleaner America: Reducing Global Warming Pollution, Cutting Air Pollution, and Saving Water, and touting wind energy’s environmental benefits to date, as well as future benefits if wind power continues to grow. The speakers urged Congress to extend critical federal incentives for wind power—the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and the offshore wind investment tax credit (ITC)—before they expire at the end of the year.
“Wind power is already replacing the dirty and dangerous energy sources of the past and creating a cleaner, healthier future for Ohioans,” said Seth Berkman of Environment Ohio. “We can continue on this path of cutting dangerous pollution and saving water if Congress acts now to extend critical wind incentives. Our message to Congress is clear: Don’t throw wind power off the fiscal cliff. Our clean air, water, and children’s future are too important to blow it now.”
If wind development continues at a pace comparable to that of recent years through 2016, Ohio would reduce global warming pollution by as much as taking an additional 72,000 cars off the road, and save enough water to meet the needs of an additional 5,600 Ohioans.
“We need to increase these important environmental benefits of wind energy by increasing wind power in our state,” said SUREnergy’s Beth Amburgy. “Ohio cannot afford the devastation of more drought like the one we faced this summer. The water savings secured by increased wind power are critical to our local environment and our economy.”
The report also outlined that today’s wind energy in Ohio is delivering results for public health, by avoiding 70 tons of smog-causing pollution and 240 tons of soot pollution. 850,000 children and adults in Ohio suffer from asthma; increasing the air pollution benefits of wind power can save lives.
Ohio’s successful development of wind energy results largely from the federal renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and its Renewable Energy Standard passed in 2008 that requires utilities to provide at least 12.5% of their energy supply from renewable sources by 2025.
Ohio wind energy generates enough energy to power 100,000 homes and is on its way to being cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuels. But the two key federal wind power incentives—the production tax credit and the offshore wind investment tax credit —expire at the end of the year. Without these credits, many planned wind farms will not be built, leaving health and environmental benefits for Ohioans on the table.
Despite the benefits of wind energy and widespread public support for federal policies to promote renewable energy, fossil fuel interests and their allies in Congress are vigorously opposing the PTC and ITC. Nonetheless, the voters spoke clearly on November 6th, reaffirming widespread support for federal policies to promote renewable energy.
“As our state is still healing from severe drought, we must invest wisely in a future with cleaner air, fewer extreme weather events, and smart use of our water resources,” said Berkman of Environment Ohio. “Time is running out. We urge Senators Portman and Brown to take the lead on extending the renewable energy production tax credit and offshore wind investment tax credit before the end of the year. Our clean air, water, and children’s future depend on it.”
Environment Ohio is a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.
Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces by investigating problems, crafting solutions, educating the public and decision-makers, and helping the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.