Suddes Rails Against Freezing Ohio “Green Energy” Mandates

Thomas Suddes
Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Thomas Suddes

Thomas Suddes has raged against a Republican proposal to freeze state renewable energy mandates in three consecutive editorials, imploring Governor John Kasich to drag his party further left as he did for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Suddes, an Ohio University journalism professor and editor at Cleveland Plain Dealer parent company Northeast Ohio Media Group, wrote on May 24 that Senate Bill 310 (SB 310) “is a first-class ticket – backwards.”

SB 310, as passed by the Senate, is like telling the Wright brothers, before their first flight, to give it a rest,” Suddes explained in one of his characteristically goofy similes.

In the eyes of Suddes and most of Ohio’s other newspaper editors, forward progress means bigger government — in this case, through a “green energy” regime that forces Ohioans to subsidize costly fossil fuel alternatives.

SB 310 would freeze for two years the electricity mandates that were among Democrat Governor Ted Strickland’s crowning achievements. Passed in 2008 with wide Republican support, the mandates have been a boon to members of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy and other businesses profiting from state manipulation of the market.

“The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday that Kasich is believed to have told the General Assembly’s GOP leaders that he’d veto S.B. 310 if it reached his desk, at least in its current form,” the Plain Dealer editorial board wrote on May 2. “Good for Kasich. That’s leadership. That’s spine.”

“It’s also a sharp contrast to the special-interest groveling that state Senate Republicans are demonstrating by trying to railroad S.B. 310 through the legislature,” Suddes and the other editors added.

Not included on the list of media-loathed special interest groups: WK Solar, which went bankrupt in 2012 with a remaining balance of over $1 million on state loans totaling more than $10 million.

Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) introduced a bill in 2013 to repeal the 2008 Renewable and Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard (RAEPS), whose benefits “green energy” advocates tout by framing public spending as found money. Despite expressions of support from Ohio Senate leaders including Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), the proposal went nowhere.

SB 310 was a leadership-supported alternative to tweak and freeze the requirements instead of repealing them entirely, but even that proved too much for Gov. Kasich, whose government “job creation” rhetoric is a big hit with the likes of Thomas Suddes.

“The antics of Ohio’s Republican-run General Assembly are undercutting the job-creating efforts of Republican Gov. John Kasich,” Suddes wrote in his May 18 column.

Suddes has continued predicting disaster-movie outcomes if the green mandates aren’t allowed to ratchet up as they were designed to, even after SB 310 was weakened to include a two-year freeze instead of a permanent freeze.

“What S.B. 310 really says is that Ohio can just keep on, keepin’ on, no worries. So if, perchance, emphysema, or worse, hijacks your lungs because of belching Ohio power plants, that’s mere collateral damage: Regrettable, but cheap power is cheap power,” Suddes warned in his May 11 editorial.

“No broken eggs — no omelet; no sooty lungs — no juice.”

Despite belching out silly far-left screeds week after week, Suddes in published not only in the Plain Dealer but also in The Columbus Dispatch and Dayton Daily News. Suddes was the chief legislative correspondent at the Plain Dealer — Ohio’s largest newspaper –from 1982 to 2000.