If The Toledo Blade ever had a thought about Gov. John R. Kasich or JobsOhio helping them out after they announced layoffs of 131 workers in late May, they can kiss that fantasy goodbye after an editorial Sunday blasted Ohio’s GOP governor and legislature for “their energy mess.”
Blade editor David Kushma didn’t mince words when it came to describing what Gov. Kasich did when he froze for two years Ohio’s renewable energy standards, which had won so much bipartisan support under former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who by coincidence appeared today in print when he described living on $77 a week and paying for food, transportation, activities and other personal expenses.
“Make no mistake: The law is plenty bad,” Kushma wrote. He added, “The governor and the Republican-dominated legislature have paused for two years the state’s successful five-year-old standards for alternative energy and energy efficiency. Ohio is the only state that has taken such a step backward.”
Columbus lawmakers weakening renewable energy standards “will cost Ohio jobs and investment in fast-growing alternative energy industries, now and for years to come. It likely will raise, not lower, your electric bill. It will make the air we breathe dirtier and will waste energy,” the Blade’s editor said.
The best he could say about Gov. Kasich is that he kept the bill from being much worse. “Of course, when you have to count on Ohio lawmakers to display these virtues, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Kushma wrote, adding, “It might seem easy for them to bide their time and then merely reinstate the standards in two years — or worse, weaken the mandates further, or worst, eliminate them.” Giving the governor a little room to maneuver, he said “Gov. John Kasich and the General Assembly still have a chance to start to reverse the damage they’ve done.”
Back in late May, The Blade announced that 131 workers would lose their jobs as the newspaper shutters it production section of its building in downtown Toledo and close its mailing facility. August 1, the start date for job losses, is just a couple days away. The Blade did not endorse John Kasich in 2010, and it remains to be seen if it will reverse course and give the first-term Republican the benefit of the doubt or not.