Senate Bill 310 jeopardizes national security: Letter to the Editor

Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 01, 2014 by Robert F. Shields, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Coast Guard (retired)

The Ohio Senate plans to freeze in place the progress Ohio has made in energy consumption and utilization of renewable energy sources. In addition to the economic arguments against it, passage of Ohio Senate Bill 310 runs counter to the national security needs of the United States.

In the Department of Defense’s recently published Quadrennial Defense Review, climate change is identified as a national security threat as it will lead to increased economic and political instability throughout the world, changes that will affect the United States. The Armed Forces are already implementing improvements in energy consumption and use of renewables from Afghanistan to Ohio. The military is leading the way.

SB 310 is intended to keep coal as the primary energy source for electricity in Ohio, much to the benefit of First Energy. A 19th century energy source, coal is a major factor in this security threat to the United States in the 21st century. Our Senators can either place the wants of First Energy and the 19th century over our 21st century needs, or they can guide the Senate to stand as one with the young men and women who serve our country. SB 310 is bad for Ohio and bad for our national security.