24 Ohio Companies and Investors Urge Gov. Kasich's Timely Implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan

24 Ohio Companies and Investors Urge Gov. Kasich's Timely Implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan

Letter stresses clean energy solutions as the most cost-effective way to drive business investment and generate jobs in transition to a low-carbon economy
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Friday, July 31, 2015 - 5:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

Boston, MA, July 31, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Today, 24 businesses and investors with a significant presence in Ohio issued a letter to Governor John Kasich offering strong support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants, and encouraging the state’s “timely finalization” of its implementation plan. The letter was coordinated by the nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization Ceres.

“Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality,” states the letter. “Clean energy solutions are cost effective and innovative ways to drive investment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasingly, businesses rely on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut costs and improve corporate performance.”

The EPA Clean Power Plan is the nation’s first comprehensive effort to reduce carbon pollution from existing electric power plants—the single largest source of global warming pollution in the U.S. The plan sets unique emissions reduction targets for each state to achieve by 2030 and allows the states flexible approaches to meeting the reductions in their implementation plans, such as through deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The letter follows a trend in which a growing number of businesses are increasingly relying on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut their costs and boost their competitiveness. A 2014 study co-authored by Ceres, Calvert Investments and the World Wildlife Fund found that 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have set their own clean energy targets and have saved more than $1 billion a year in the process.

"At Calvert Investments, we believe strongly that a combination of market, technological and environmental forces are all inexorably pushing companies and governments towards the need for renewable and cleaner power sources,” said Stu Dalheim, Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy, Calvert Investments. “We are committed to supporting policies which make progress in that direction, including the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which will foster more rapid development of solar, wind and other clean energy sources in states like Ohio. We strongly encourage Ohio's leaders to embrace this plan and to implement it fully."

In recent years, Ohio’s RPS and EERS were driving major emissions reductions, with a 19 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2008 to2013. Clean energy development has brought thousands of jobs to Ohio and billions of dollars in cumulative capital investment, with 89,000 currently employed in the sector. Unfortunately, the state's recent freeze of these targets will make it more challenging to continue to reduce emissions and comply with the Clean Power Plan.

Companies and investors are actively calling for Ohio to reinstate its clean energy policies as a way to meet the state targets set forth in the Clean Power Plan. These state policies will do more than meet EPA targets, however. They will drive job growth and investment in Ohio and make it a more attractive place to do business.

“Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard enabled Staples to construct one of the state’s largest solar arrays, 2.2 MW on our London, Ohio distribution center facility, saving us on our energy bills and lowering our carbon footprint," said Mark Buckley, Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Staples, Inc. "Implementation of EPA’s Clean Power Plan is vital for Ohio to continue on this clean energy trajectory.”

The businesses listed below emphasize that there is no tradeoff between continued economic growth and cutting carbon pollution, and strongly encourage Governor Kasich to ensure Ohio's timely finalization and implementation of the state’s carbon pollution reduction plans.

“As you develop your implementation plan we hope you will include the building blocks of renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will allow you to mitigate the risks of climate change and the volatility of fossil fuel prices,” they state.

Signatories to the letter include: Benjamin Visuals; Blue Chip Technologies LLC; Burton SnowboardsCalvert InvestmentsClif Bar; Creekwood Energy Partners; Eco Ohio; Friends Fiduciary Corporation; Gap Inc.General Mills, Inc.; Kayak Media; KKI; Mercy Health; NestlePresbyterian Church (U.S.A.); Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment and Sisters of the Humility of Mary; Schneider ElectricStaples, Inc.; Sunsprout Farms of Central Ohio; The Dannon Company, Inc.; Tulong LLC; Unitarian Universalist Association; Village Bakery & Café; and Wespath Investment Management.

To download the full text of the letter, please click here.

Bold indicates companies with >$100M in annual revenue and investors with >$2B in assets under management.

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $13 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of dozens of companies committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

CATEGORY: Environment