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Trump’s First 100 Days: Trump freezes Clean Power Act but Ohio moves forward

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This week, President Trump signed an executive order revoking Obama’s Clean Power Plan which aimed to reduce carbon emissions within 25 years by requiring states to meet standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.

States did not immediately get on board with the plan. Ohio notably joined a lawsuit against the Obama administration opposing the implementation of the order. The plan was eventually halted on Feb. 9 of this year, but that still left a year of Ohio under the Clean Power Plan.

Outside of the Clean Power Plan, Ohio has a history of mandates related to renewable energy. In 2008, then Gov. Ted Strickland OK’d standards that were unanimously approved in the State Senate, which were then frozen by current Gov. John Kasich two years later. Last December, the Ohio legislature tried to extend that freeze, but Kasich vetoed the bill. Now, Ohio’s own standards require 12.5 percent of electricity to be produced by renewable energy by 2027.

In 2010, Ohio was ranked second in solar module manufacturing after Oregon. Part of Ohio’s strong rankings in solar energy comes from investments by the state into renewable efforts such as those by AEP Ohio. AEP Ohio struck deals with the state in order to develop 500 megawatts of new wind generation and 400 megawatt of solar generation.

Ohio has been part of a strong trend toward renewable energy inside the Green Belt of the United States. This Green Belt is a reimagining of the energy sector in the industrial Midwest as companies have invested more in renewable energy over the past decade.

Although Ohio is still primarily powered by coal, the state has been making strong bipartisan pushes into renewable energy for a decade now. Trump’s order against the Clean Power Act ultimately will quell the voices from the state that sued the Obama administration, but it cannot change Ohio’s trend toward renewable energy.

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