DeWine, Ohio Republicans redefine natural gas as ‘green energy’ in service to fossil fuel industry

Ethel Walsh

Folks in my line of operate are wise to the “Friday evening news dump.” It is an outdated tactic used by politicians and PR varieties who have to launch unfavorable information they never want anybody to see. Pols in no way fall great information late on a Friday afternoon (or in excess of a holiday) when the general public is significantly less very likely to fork out awareness. They announce it with state-of-the-art publicity, plan a push convention on Monday or Tuesday morning, and choose queries. 

But when elected officers want to bury adverse news that would make them look bad and avoid media scrutiny they deliver their push releases out just as the weekend is setting up. They know newsrooms are emptying and fewer eyes are scanning media alerts at quitting time. Which boosts the probability that some posts may get “lost” and never get traction. Which is the position. 

The method is to deep-6 harmful information and dodge political blowback with a cache of press statements dumped at 5 p.m. Friday and no returned phone calls. Just lately Gov. Mike DeWine utilized the tried and accurate ploy to evade fallout from legislation he signed into legislation for a single of his greatest campaign contributors at the price of Ohio State Parks. 

As a fully ordered subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, DeWine blessed an field-pleasant invoice maneuvered on the sly via the lame duck session by Ohio Senate Republicans with no general public input or review. Not superior. Senators tucked two past-moment amendments into an unrelated Property invoice and passed them in a hurry. One particular compelled point out organizations to open up condition parks and forested lands for expanded oil and gasoline drilling.

Essentially lawmakers cleared the way for a no-exception leasing procedure to jump-start fracking functions eager to funds in on our all-natural resources. The amendment, tweeted the Ohio Environmental Council, “removes important community oversight and locks in polluters’ regulate around what community lands in Ohio are leased and when.” Republicans also inserted a provision that lined up properly with fossil gasoline “misinformation strategies made to brand normal gas as ‘green energy.’”

They lumped pure gasoline into the very same legal classification as “green energy” or renewable electricity resources these types of as solar, wind, and h2o. For the file, all-natural fuel, which is largely methane, is a greenhouse fuel whose global warming prospective is 86 times better than carbon dioxide in excess of a 20-calendar year period. And leaked methane emissions have significantly improved in the U.S. as purely natural gas fracking has boomed as a “clean” replacement for other fossil fuels.

So redefining a potent and risky fossil gasoline fuel whose poisonous emissions are driving weather adjust as “green energy” is, perfectly, patently absurd and scientifically nuts. 

But that’s what pro-field Senate Republicans folded into House Bill 507 and sent to the governor. Oil and gasoline businesses required a eco-friendly light to tear up and pollute our state parks and public lands with no condition agencies (or park enthusiasts, environmentalists, nearby communities, and many others.) acquiring in the way of profitable fracking productions. They bought it from DeWine with no any community testimony or consideration of the environmental and leisure impression of expanded drilling in Ohio. 

Urgent pleas to the governor to veto the regressive Senate amendments in the people’s desire — as an alternative of serving the oil and gasoline industry’s interests — fell on deaf ears. Safeguarding our air and water and wonderful natural playgrounds for generations of Ohioans was not in the playing cards with DeWine. He selected to drag the condition backward by promoting the buildup of fracking in spite of its identified expenditures to human and environmental health and fitness.

Though other states see the severe fallout from local climate adjust wreaking havoc in true time throughout the region and the globe and hurry to transition to definitely clean up, sustainable electricity, DeWine rewards polluters by slicing red tape for them. No speculate the governor waited to expose his fossil fuel giveaway right until his inaugural weekend was underway.

He realized the previous matter Ohioans ideal in their cherished point out parks have been dirty drilling rigs polluting the ambiance, poisoning the water, and threatening general public welfare. So he hid a short, mealy-mouthed assertion about signing the egregious environmental setback in a Friday night information dump. 

“I consider the amendments in Home Invoice 507 do not essentially alter the standards and processes established by the Ohio Common Assembly in 2011 that first proven the coverage of leasing mineral rights under state parks and lands.” Correction. They fundamentally do by eradicating important point out authority more than oil and gasoline leasing in Ohio’s condition parks and general public lands and by altering the “green energy” language in Ohio law to include things like all-natural gas with conceivable promoting and regulatory implications. 

Go again and browse the invoice, governor. Even though you are at it, revisit an additional a single you signed (also with very little fanfare) in 2021 that Ohioans are however shelling out for environmentally. House Monthly bill 128 repealed the nuclear bailout provisions of the notorious Property Monthly bill 6 but it still left provisions gutting Ohio’s electricity-effectiveness programs and renewable electricity mandates as effectively as statewide subsidies to bail out two previous, hyper-polluting coal plants in Ohio and Indiana owned by condition utility businesses.  

Unsurprisingly, a new report place Ohio dead previous, courtesy DeWine, in upholding stringent thoroughly clean-strength needs among the any U.S. state with a renewable common. Can not bury that news. Way too shameful.

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