727 miles and many Ohio opinions on clean energy

Citizens, community leaders and experts from around the state are weighing in on the future of energy in Ohio. The Ohio Energy Future Tour is making its way across Ohio.

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Energy Future Tour is traveling 727 miles around the state to hear from citizens, community leaders and experts about the energy opportunities and challenges facing Ohio.

At stops already in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo, spokeswoman Jane Harf says conversations have focused on the importance of continuing to build renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ohio communities.

“What should be the mix of generation and how can we continue to improve the lives of Ohio citizens, whether it’s public health, whether it’s cost savings, all the various ways in which these technologies have made a difference,” Harf says. “How can we keep that going?”

State leaders are currently reviewing the state’s clean energy standards.

Harf says business leaders on the tour have voiced concerns over the freeze of the standards, saying companies need policy certainty when considering significant new investment or expansion.

The tour wraps up in Athens on June 27.

Harf says tour organizers have also heard during the forums that clean energy technologies are increasingly cost-competitive and there is growing demand for new models of producing and consuming energy.

She adds the tour has also highlighted Ohio’s strength in manufacturing, and how the state is well positioned to train people through all levels of clean energy opportunities.

“Whether it’s an electrical engineer, whether it’s a welder, there are a variety of opportunities and we have everything from the community colleges through the Ph.D. programs that can produce the talent that is necessary,” she points out.

Harf says once the tour is completed, a collection of ideas and recommendations will be delivered to policymakers.

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