To receive updates and stay connected to Policy Matters Ohio, sign up here!

Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

A Green New Deal: 10 ways to promote a sustainable Ohio

March 15, 2019

A Green New Deal: 10 ways to promote a sustainable Ohio

March 15, 2019

by Amy Hanauer and Amanda Woodrum

The Green New Deal has excited a new generation of activists and beautifully framed how this kind of societal transformation is in keeping with our history. Previous plans, like the Apollo Alliance and Blue-Green Alliance platforms, have carefully incorporated some policy nuances that we can learn from. As the Green New Deal is fleshed out, it can incorporate concerns that unions, transit advocates, urban planners and others have previously raised. We can make transformative green investments, employ people now, direct jobs and training to communities hurt by the conventional energy economy, cut pollution and emissions contributing to climate change, and slash spending on fossil fuels, particularly for low-income families whose homes and cars are often least efficient. That’s a great set of goals!

Ohio emissions and energy use

To create a Green New Deal that can achieve these goals, we must first understand how we use energy and where our emissions come from. In Ohio, 70 percent of emissions come from the electric power and transportation sectors combined. On the other hand, industry uses more fossil fuels than any other sector in Ohio. This means that to be successful, a Green New Deal has to start with aggressive strategies to tackle these three sectors.

A Green New Deal: 10 ways to promote a sustainable Ohio

10 Ways to Promote a Sustainable Ohio

  • Tax pollution to raise revenue for a Green New Deal and discourage use of polluting fossil fuels.
    • Tax carbon emissions.
    • Raise the gas tax to internalize the external costs of pollution from driving.
    • Increase Ohio’s severance tax to pay for the social and environmental costs of fracking and support local communities with fracking sites.
    • Close tax loopholes and stop subsidizing fossil fuels.
    • Tax single-use plastic.

Clean up the electric power sector.

  • Clean energy standard.
  • Electrical efficiency standard.
  • Regulate or ban flaring.

Green the transportation sector.

  • Invest in transit.
  • Encourage electric vehicles.
  • Invest in passenger and freight rail.

Help industry modernize.

  • Industrial efficiency.
  • Combined heat and power.
  • Sell excess energy into the grid.

Offset carbon.

  • Plant trees and greenery, especially near roadways and waterways.
  • Restrict construction on all greenfields.

Make homes healthier

  • Encourage home weatherization. Fully fund low-income weatherization programs and enable low-cost loans or pay-as-you-save programs for middle-income families to seal leaks, insulate, and install solar arrays.
  • Allow energy efficient homes to feed excess renewable energy into the grid.
  • Raise standards for energy efficiency of new home construction.

Make commercial buildings greener.

  • Require higher energy efficiency in all commercial buildings: retrofit existing buildings, and build news to green standards.
  • Lead the way in the MUSH market with Municipal, University, School and Hospital buildings.

Green the farm and clean our waterways.

  • Reduce runoff.
  • Explore and expand sustainable agriculture practices.

Buy green and local – have high standards for all public purchases

Employ Ohioans to do the work.

  • Use community benefit agreements.
  • Employ unionized labor.
  • Create on ramps for women and people of color into these job.


Clean Energy & Green Jobs

Share This


Photo Gallery

1 of 22

To receive updates and stay connected to Policy Matters Ohio, sign up here!


No Thanks, Please don't ask again.