Ohio Environmental Council, June 10, 2016
Ohio is poised to shift into a healthy and vibrant future. Nearly 90,000 Ohioans make a living in the clean energy industry. Urban mayors and village councils alike recognize the value of investing in infrastructure to protect drinking water supplies. Leading businesses across the state have proven that energy efficiency and sustainable supply chains are just common sense investments. And more than half of all Buckeye State residents get outside and enjoy our natural heritage.
Now is the time for Ohio to build on this progress. Committed leadership and smart policies can mean both more prosperity and more protection for our air, water, and lands for generations to come.
Yet entrenched interests are trying to hold Ohio back. Some electricity providers, oil and gas, and coal companies want to keep the state’s energy system in the dark ages, even though fossil fuels take a heavy toll on Ohioans’ health and wallets. Others have failed to implement protective programs or have prioritized commercial interests over natural treasures. Polarizing and overheated rhetoric have intensified in recent years, and in turn, made environmental protection more of a partisan issue, despite the fact that the vast majority of Ohioans prize clean air and safe drinking water.
If these forces prevail, Ohio will be stuck in the past. But there is a path forward.
The Ohio Environmental Council will lead the way.
We are the organization for the times. The OEC offers pragmatic solutions to achieve results. We works within broad coalitions, not divisive partisanship, to unify those with a shared interest. We holds polluters accountable in court while working with communities and companies that want to invest in a cleaner, more sustainable direction. And we bring deep policy and legal expertise to all our work.
Ohio has already begun the shift away from fossil fuels that pollute the air and drive up medical and utility bills. To usher in the clean energy future, the OEC will work with our partners to call on decision-makers to design ambitious plans for reducing carbon pollution from power plants, methane pollution from oil and gas wells, and for supporting dislocated communities in transition.
We will celebrate leaders who stand up for the public interest, and work with utilities and businesses willing to move swiftly towards clean energy solutions. And we will shine a spotlight on leaders who stand outside the mainstream consensus on climate change or side with dirty industries.
Clean water, healthy lands, and fresh air are essential to life. The OEC will build and work with a groundswell of partners to tackle the root causes of toxic algal blooms, degraded water quality, and habitat loss. It will call on decision makers to increase the amount of state forest land that is protected from commercial and industrial development by 50 percent. The OEC will convene a united, influential front calling for reduced farm-field runoff and investments to free Ohio’s waterways of toxic algae.
Learn about the OEC’s 5-year plan and how we plan to accompilsh it below.