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Kasich: ‘All the above’ energy approach

COLUMBUS — Presidential contender John Kasich last week proposed an “all of the above” approach to energy production that includes renewables and conservation measures along with stepped-up fossil fuel production.

But Gov. John Kasich’s first test may come next year with his position that a proposed, indefinite halt to Ohio’s mandate that utilities get more power from renewable sources like wind, solar and new technology is “unacceptable.”

“We’ll make sure we produce more energy from oil and gas; from nuclear; from coal that we dig, clean, and burn; alternatives and renewables, and anything else that we can find, and we’ll do it responsibly,” Mr. Kasich said in New Hampshire as he spelled out his plan for the first 100 days of a President Kasich administration.

“We need it all, and it should come from right here,” he said.

He proposed working with Canada and Mexico to ensure that North America can meet its own energy needs, and part of that plan would be approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a position that puts him at direct odds with Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The pipeline would run through the central United States from Canada to Mexico.

“Energy freedom is a matter of national security,” Mr. Kasich said. “We don’t want wars when it’s all about energy when we can do what we need to do in America to be energy independent.”

He called for opening more federal lands to oil and natural gas exploration; research into cleaner coal, smart grid, battery, and other technologies; and letting states regulate hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations at home.

Related: Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia sign pact to develop shale resources

He said he would end the ban on exporting domestic oil and gas and would end President Obama’s proposed, stricter regulations on carbon emissions from coal and other fossil fuel power plants.

Last year, the Republican-controlled General Assembly enacted a two-year timeout in state law that required utilities to find at least 25 percent of their power from renewable or advanced technology sources by the year 2025.

That two-year freeze is set to expire at the end of 2016, at which point the annual benchmarks that utilities must achieve would resume if the legislature doesn’t act.

A special legislative panel, however, recently recommended keeping the freeze in place indefinitely.

Mr. Kasich said the indefinite freeze would be “unacceptable,” but he hasn’t indicated what he expects to see instead.

“Energy efficiency and renewable energy absolutely should be part of America’s energy mix,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, of the nonprofit Ohio Environmental Council Action fund. “But Gov. Kasich is dead wrong that there should be no limit on climate-changing carbon emissions. Kasich needs to take another look at the Clean Power Plan.”

Mike Hartley, executive director of the new Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, called Mr. Kasich’s proposal “a true conservative approach.”

“OHCEF believes we need [state renewable and efficiency] standards as part of an all-of-the-above energy policy here in Ohio that will remove current market barriers, drive innovation, focus on economic growth, and lead us toward increased energy independence and market predictability,” he said.

This article was written by Jim Provance from The Blade and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.