Ohio Chamber Testifies on Energy Choice Bill in the Senate

Tuesday afternoon, the Ohio Chamber testified in the Senate Energy & Public Utilities Committee as a proponent of House Bill 201, which would pre-empt local governments from banning the use of natural gas.

HB 201 creates safeguards for commercial and residential energy users’ access to natural gas by preventing local governments from limiting or banning the fuel source. More importantly, this HB 201 protects customers’ ability to choose what mix of energy sources works best for their needs

The Ohio Chamber has been a consistent proponent when it comes to advocating for energy policies that promote a diverse portfolio regulated at the state-level. Local level go-it-alone policies could undermine the entire state’s competitive standing and hinder our state’s diverse portfolio of energy sources because we constantly compete against other states, many of which are in the process of passing legislation to HB 201.

The effect that these bans have deny businesses and homeowners the service they need, want and most commonly use to power their lives, heat their homes and run their operations. Limiting energy choice would effectively be forcing businesses and homeowners to replace the appliances they want to use — grills, hot water heaters, fireplaces, fryers and furnaces — with less efficient and more costly ones.

Energy policy is of statewide concern since all Ohioans depend on reliable, affordable energy. By prohibiting local governments from interfering in consumer choice, HB 201 will protect retail establishments, manufacturers, consumers and, ultimately, our state’s overall economic competitiveness by allowing Ohioans to decide what fuel sources best suit their needs. The Ohio Chamber looks forward to this bill moving quickly through the Senate committee process.