Ohio lawmakers near rescheduled energy-target vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bill halting the phase-in of Ohio's renewable energy and efficiency standards is re-emerging after the long weekend.

The contentious proposal delays targets for how much energy Ohio utilities must generate from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2025.

House Public Utilities Chairman Peter Stautberg delayed the vote to Tuesday after intensive lobbying last week.

Opponents including advanced-energy companies, faith and civil-rights leaders and environmentalists have lobbied hard against the two-year pause in the standards negotiated by Gov. John Kasich and senators. They say such targets promote environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuels and create high-tech jobs in the growing alternative-energy sector.

Backers say mandatory targets encourage industry growth and reduce coal use.

Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican pushing the bill, says it "has nothing to do with coal." He said Ohio electric users are unnecessarily paying hidden electric charges to help companies meet the thresholds.