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2019 Year in review

Feb 17, 2020 2:47 PM

Today we release our 2019  year-in-review report. Copies will be mailed to all major donors this week. Many thanks to all the members, staff and volunteers who made 2019 a great year for Ohio Citizen Action.

Link to report (pdf)


Ohio green-energy groups increasingly look to locals in fight against global warming

Feb 13, 2020 4:41 PM

COLUMBUS — "Environmental advocates have been working on the local level for years, finding success in getting cities to commit to getting 100 percent of their energy from renewable sourcesreplacing gas-powered city vehicles with electric cars, and even building their own solar arrays, among other things.

But now, such efforts are becoming more organized with the creation of Power A Clean Future Ohio, which will work to help municipal leaders implement carbon-reduction plans. The new group is backed by organizations such as the Ohio Environmental Council, the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and the Sierra Club’s Ohio chapter.

'Regardless of what the state is doing, there’s just a lot of opportunity for local governments to step in here, and to take a kind of leadership role,' said Joe Flarida, executive director of Power A Clean Future Ohio. 'There’s just kind of a natural fit there and a lot of authority that they have to do things right away, so we’re taking advantage.'"

— Jeremy Pelzer,

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The biggest municipal solar farm in the US is coming to…Cincinnati?

Feb 13, 2020 4:25 PM

"In 2017, when the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement—an international treaty that attempted to avert climate catastrophe by cutting global emissions—John Cranley, the Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, joined other mayors across the country to announce his intention to remain faithful to the agreement’s primary goal of keeping the rise of global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century. Cranley and leaders from from dozens of cities like San Francisco and Chicago even went a step further, promising to work toward a 100 percent transition to clean energy sources, with ambitious deadlines.

So, in 2018, Cincinnati announced its own 2035 mandate for carbon neutrality—the 100th US city to do so—by turning to solar energy. 'I was inspired to [pursue this project] out of anger over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accords,' Cranley says, describing the frustration he suspects he shared with many other city leaders who made the carbon-neutral pledge.

Cincinnati planned to create the largest municipal-run solar farm in the country, and two years later, it looks like they’ve succeeded. 'This really is a big deal,' says Gregory Wetstone, who heads the American Council on Renewable Energy, an organization that advocates for a transition to renewables in the energy sector. 'Our team could not find anything that competes with it at a municipal level.'"

-- Will Pieschel, Mother Jones

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Lakewood committed to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2025

Feb 13, 2020 3:47 PM

Oct 28, 2019

LAKEWOOD -- "'Earlier this year, council unanimously passed a climate resolution that included our intention to get our city to zero emissions,' Rader said. 'We have also prioritized reducing emissions and increasing efficiency in this year’s budgeting process.'

Added Bullock, 'It’s cost-effective and practical today to use clean energy, as many Fortune 500 companies -- Target, GM, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Amazon, Google -- are doing now. Solar prices have dropped 90 percent in the past decade, and wind costs 70 percent less. So we can improve air quality and public health, and do it affordably.'

Lakewood’s clean energy commitment is tied to the Sierra Club’s national 'Ready For 100' campaign. Ohio Sierra Club Conservation Program Coordinator Chad Stephens called Lakewood’s commitment significant, positioning the city as progressive leaders in the state."

-- John Benson,

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Ohio communities stepping up to lead the way by reducing carbon emissions

Feb 10, 2020 5:15 PM

Leaders from across Ohio joined together to launch Power a Clean Future Ohio, a nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to working with local officials to develop equitable global climate change solutions. The organization is committed to reducing carbon emission throughout Ohio in big and small ways that make sense for each local community.

Power a Clean Future Ohio will work directly with local elected officials, businesses, faith groups, advocacy organizations and others to inform and incentivize action at the community level to combat climate change and spur the economic growth and development that results from embracing clean technologies and advanced transportation.

"Ohio Citizen Action joined with leaders across the state to launch Power a Clean Future Ohio because you deserve a clean future for yourself, your children and your community," Ohio Citizen Action Executive Director Rachael Belz said in their press release. "This is an ideal opportunity for clean energy initiatives to come from the grassroots up, from the voices of Ohioans often left out of these conversations."

To highlight the momentum at the local level, Power a Clean Future Ohio will join with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and others to convene advocates, elected officials and industry experts from across Ohio and the Midwest for the Ohio Clean Energy Summit: Local Communities Lead on April 30th at the Xavier University Cintas Center. The summit will feature announcements on new clean energy initiatives and will provide a forum to discuss how local governments can access tools and resources to advance carbon reduction strategies to create a healthier, more prosperous community.

Want to stay informed on what’s happening, go to and join the email list. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to help now? Help us spread the news about Power a Clean Future Ohio. Here are some possible posts you can share in your social media.

  • Power a Clean Future Ohio launched today to work with local officials to develop global climate change solutions. #LocalsLeadTheWay #CleanFuture
  • Power a Clean Future Ohio is committed to reducing carbon emissions throughout Ohio in big and small ways that make sense for each local community. #LocalsLeadTheWay #CleanFuture

Millions were spent to overturn Ohio's nuclear bailout law and keep it. We'll never know who paid.

Feb 03, 2020 2:28 PM

COLUMBUS - "Friday marked the first time anyone involved in the nasty, expensive fight over Ohio's energy grid was required to disclose any details about their donors or how that money was spent.

That disclosure comes long after the debate over House Bill 6 ended.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Ohioans will have a new fee on their electric bills to pay for nuclear energy, coal plants and some solar projects. Meanwhile, subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency will fade. 

In the end, many of the groups involved in the clash will never report specifics about who donated money to their efforts. That's because state and federal laws do not require disclosure."

- Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati Enquirer

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House Bill 6 referendum effort is dead after group drops lawsuit appeal

Jan 22, 2020 5:14 PM

The Perry nuclear power plant in Lake County

The Perry nuclear plant in Lake County, seen here, and the Davis Besse plant near Toledo will be subsidized starting in 2021 thanks to House Bill 6. On Wednesday, HB6 opponents ended their legal battle to hold a statewide referendum overturning the nuclear and coal subsidy law. (John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer)

COLUMBUS — "The fight to hold a statewide referendum overturning House Bill 6, Ohio’s new law gutting green-energy standards and subsidizing nuclear and coal power plants, is officially over.

On Tuesday, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, the group behind the effort to hold the referendum, filed a motion with the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to drop its appeal seeking to gain more time to gather enough signatures to place the measure on the 2020 ballot.

'We couldn’t see a path forward,' said Gene Pierce, a spokesman for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, on Wednesday morning. 'I don’t know what anybody else wants to do, but we’re done.'"

—  Jeremy Pelzer,

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Remembering James Thindwa

Jan 22, 2020 11:55 AM

OCA Canvasser Jen Mendoza and James Thindwa at Hudson Bay Canvasser Conference 
The following statement was written by Don Wolcott, President of the Hudson Bay Company, canvass consultants to Ohio Citizen Action. "James Thindwa was an extraordinarily successful and beloved Canvass Director in Columbus Ohio in the early 1990s. We at Ohio Citizen Action will miss him and his thoughtful, passionate and persistent approach to organizing." 
"My dearest James Thindwa died yesterday January 19, 2020 after a courageous fight against cancer. His passionate commitment to fighting for social justice and his belief in the power of ordinary people to change their lives, and our world, will live on in the rich legacy he imparted to so many. Born in Harare Zimbabwe in 1955, James later moved with his family to Blantyre Malawi. In what ended up as a permanent move to the United States, James left for Berea College in Kentucky in 1974. There he began his commitment, as an African immigrant, toward identifying and forging solidarity with African American struggles. Upon earning an MA in Political Science from Miami University, and briefly considering a career in academia—and wisely rejecting it—James began his beloved work as a community organizer. Spanning issues from climate justice, to racial justice and the right of workers to unionize, James’ incredible skills at organizing and fighting for social justice touched countless people and communities. From 1985 to 1992 he was staff director of Citizen Action Coalition of Indiana and Ohio Citizen Action. He spent nine years as lead organizer in Chicago with Metro Seniors in Action organizing for national health insurance and mass transit. He served for many years as executive director of Jobs With Justice in Chicago, where he fought in numerous local campaigns, most memorably in the fight for a municipal living wage ordinance. His work with JwJ was featured on a Bill Moyers show in 2009, of which James was very proud.
He spent his last years working for the American Federation of Teachers, initially in making unprecedented strides in organizing charter school teachers in Chicago and then in the union’s efforts nationally to strengthen relationships with parents and community organizations. A lifelong activist and champion of human rights, James fought in numerous struggles including the anti-apartheid movement, immigrant rights movement, antiwar movement and many campaigns for racial justice. James was a firm believer in the responsibility of government to tax the rich, defend the rights of workers, provide free health care for all and robust support for the elderly. He refused the lure of cynicism and despair his whole life. He instilled in so many young organizers a fervent belief in the power of personal and social transformation. He served on many boards over the years, including the Illinois Labor History Society and In These Times Magazine, for which he also occasionally wrote.  James loved music, especially Jazz, Soul, Blues, (and Rock and Country!) and a wide variety of the Afro-beat. He occasionally played guitar and drums in beloved South Side clubs and neighborhood bands. James cherished a wide circle of friends in Chicago and across the country and the world. He is survived by his comrade-spouse Martha Biondi, twin brother Jeff in Vienna VA and his wife Lucy; brother Robert in Harare and his wife Rosemary; sister Faith in Blantyre; his aunt, Joyce Kajama in Harare, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Arrangements are private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the Crossroads Fund in Chicago, a public foundation supporting the kinds of social justice organizing to which James devoted his life. An ongoing initiative will be created in his honor." 

Final approval needed to move forward on Icebreaker Wind Project

Jan 09, 2020 2:49 PM

Click the photo for the full report about the Icebreaker Wind project, provided by LEEDCo. 
"In 2009, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), a nonprofit public-private partnership, was founded with a vision to make Ohio’s leadership potential into a reality by building a sustainable off-shore wind energy industry in the Great Lakes. Since then, LEEDCo has worked to develop Icebreaker Windpower, Inc., a 6-turbine demonstration wind farm off the Lake Erie coast.

The Icebreaker Wind project is the first of its kind: The first offshore wind facility in the Great Lakes, the first freshwater wind farm in North America, and only the second offshore wind project in the entire US.[2]

Studies conducted by government agencies and research institutions and exhaustive regulatory reviews have shown that the projected economic advantages and minimal environmental impact surpass expectations. In addition to improving Ohio’s air quality, Icebreaker Wind would address our growing vulnerability to climate change and advance Ohio’s position in the clean energy economy. This includes over 500 new jobs, an estimated 253 million in economic impact for the region over the life of the project and an introduction into the multi-billion-dollar offshore wind industry. [2] LEEDCo has also made it an objective to seek out companies within Ohio’s existing manufacturing base to become a part of this new offshore wind energy supply chain.[3] Simply put, with Icebreaker Wind, Ohio would be a national competitor in this rapidly growing market.

For these reasons and more, Icebreaker Wind is publicly supported by a diverse range of groups, including elected officials and local governments, labor and trade unions, universities and business networks, and foundations and nonprofit organizations. Green Energy Ohio has been a strong supporter of LEEDCo and Icebreaker Wind for many years and has provided letters of support in several public and government forums."

-- Green Energy Ohio  

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Stanford engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert U.S. to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050

Jan 03, 2020 5:22 PM

"The study is published in the online edition of Energy and Environmental Sciences. An interactive map summarizing the plans for each state is available at

Jacobson and his colleagues started by taking a close look at the current energy demands of each state, and how those demands would change under business-as-usual conditions by the year 2050. To create a full picture of energy use in each state, they examined energy usage in four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial and transportation.

For each sector, they then analyzed the current amount and source of the fuel consumed – coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables – and calculated the fuel demands if all fuel usage were replaced with electricity. This is a significantly challenging step – it assumes that all the cars on the road become electric, and that homes and industry convert to fully electrified heating and cooling systems. But Jacobson said that their calculations were based on integrating existing technology, and the energy savings would be significant."

-- Mark Z. Jacobson and colleagues, Stanford News

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see the full report