Public Utilities and Energy – Fuel Production

Gongwer News Service - November 16, 2005

Gongwer News Service

HB 251 ENERGY EFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS (Uecker) To require the efficient use of energy in all state facilities based on standards developed by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, to require the Department of Administrative Services to give preference in procuring products and services to those that meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, and to require each state institution of higher education that receives capital appropriations for a specific project to use energy efficient designs in the project.

Jack Hershey of Ohio State University said the university supports the bill, given the adoption of the amendment offered by Chairman Hagan. The change directs university boards of trustees to adopt rules regarding energy consumption polices. Before those rules are adopted, university presidents, or their designees, would meet to determine best practices that could be implemented.

HB 371 FUEL PRODUCTION (Buehrer) To create the Fuel Production Task Force to study opportunities for and barriers to increasing fuel production in this state and to declare an emergency.

Wendy Patton of Policy Matters Ohio testified in support, telling the panel that the task force should also look at opportunities the state has to become a leader in the use of alternative fuels and fuel efficiency component manufacturing. She said both those issues have the opportunity to significantly improve the state’s economy and said representatives of the interests should have seats on the panel.

Rhonda Reda of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association also backed the bill, saying the group appreciates the legislature’s interest in developing in-state fuel sources. She said the damage caused by two Gulf Coast hurricanes underscored the importance of having local refineries, and said the task force should also review the possibilities of bringing refineries to the state. Ms. Reda urged members to add a seat on the panel for independent fuel producers.

Megan Lashutka of the Ohio Petroleum Council testified as an interested party, saying her members are likely to endorse the bill’s concepts. She also urged members to include the council on the task force.

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