Governor pushes for green power

COLUMBUS In Oklahoma, as a famous song goes, the wind comes "sweeping down the plain."
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

 

COLUMBUS

In Oklahoma, as a famous song goes, the wind comes "sweeping down the plain."

But in northern Ohio, it tends to come sweeping off Lake Erie in large gusts, boosting interest in wind power and prompting U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur to dub the Erie coast the "Saudi Arabia of wind."

Gov. Ted Strickland said Thursday that wind power and other forms of alternative energy could provide an important boost for Ohio's economy.

The governor has proposed spending $250 million in Ohio on renewable energy, including wind power, solar power and clean coal.

Generating electricity from wind farms isn't the only way Ohio can benefit from the wind power industry, the governor told reporters Thursday.

"Building the component parts for this industry holds huge promise for Ohio," he said.

The governor said many of the business leaders he met after his State of the State speech Wednesday were from alternative energy industries.

He said a First Solar plant in Perrysburg, near Toledo, makes more thin-film solar panels than any other U.S. facility.

"We can become the center of alternative energy research and production," he said.

Strickland said some of his friends want him to oppose nuclear power, but he is concerned about global warming.

Nuclear power plants do not produce the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

The nation needs "the broadest portfolio of sources of energy," Strickland said.

The governor said science and sound policy will determine where alternative energy dollars will be spent. He said spending from the fund will not be directed "by the whim of a governor or any particular legislator."

Strickland also backs a bill in the Ohio General Assembly that would require electric utilities in Ohio to obtain part of their electricity from renewable sources of energy.

Alternative energy has already been an area of interest in Erie and Ottawa counties, where Congresswoman Kaptur has obtained federal money for projects including a wind energy turbine at the BGSU Firelands, a solar energy project at NASA Plum Brook Station, alternative energy projects at Camp Perry and solar power for the terminal at Put-in-Bay.