Ohio Senate OKs delay in alternative energy use

JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Senate has approved a bill delaying phase-in of Ohio's alternative-energy targets for two years to give a legislative panel time to study the issue.

Senators approved the contentious bill just after 1 a.m. Thursday, sending it to the Ohio House.

Lawmakers initially sought a permanent freeze in phasing in the 7-year-old standards. They backed off that plan Wednesday. The approved bill retains the targets unless lawmakers act on recommendations of a 13-member commission by 2017.

The freeze was broadly criticized by consumer advocates, manufacturers, alternative energy producers and environmentalists.

Senate leaders and Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), a fellow Republican, struck the compromise.

Under a 2008 law, Ohio utilities must produce 12.5 percent of energy from renewables and help customers reduce usage by 22 percent by 2025.

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