energy

Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer: Energy in Ohio

On the latest edition of Field Day, Ohio Farm Bureau’s Director of Water Quality and Research Jordan Hoewischer talks with Dale Arnold, director of energy, utility and local government policy for Ohio Farm Bureau. Solar leases, pipeline projects, wind energy and all things energy-related across the state are discussed in this episode.

Arnold is a Farm Bureau veteran and energy expert who has spent a lot of time talking with farmers and landowners over the years about energy initiatives and how they may effect the bottom line and quality of life.

“If you have any question whatsoever about anything, from on-site generation on your farm to your electric bill, or one of these guys in a shiny white pickup truck basically pulls up and says “I want you to be involved in this project,” you have a friend here in Columbus,” Arnold said. “You give us a call or give your county Farm Bureau a call and have us out. That’s what we’re prepared to do. I do a lot of talking at kitchen tables with folks about what questions they have starting out. That’s what Farm Bureau is all about.”

Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer is an ongoing series of conversations with experts and leaders who are helping to shape and secure the future of Ohio’s ag industry for generations to come.

Following are some highlights from Episode 6. A transcript of the complete conversation can be found here.

Q: What’s current landscape when it comes to energy issues in Ohio?

A: A lot of things are happening. If you’re in eastern Ohio, you’re hearing a lot about shale drilling development and natural gas fired turbine generation. A lot of coal-fired generation facilities are being retired and decommissioned. You’re seeing a huge transition of energy over there. In western Ohio, a tremendous amount of work has been done with wind and you’re seeing some large utility scale wind production facilities all being constructed with others being permitted. Ohio will be taking a leadership position with regard to wind energy production very quickly. And solar has gotten to be huge.

Q: So, with the plethora of energy sources, we’re in a kind of energy boom in terms of choices. What’s the future hold for energy in Ohio?

A: Ohio is basically going to be very much at the energy crossroads. We are still within a matter of eight to 12 hours of the vast majority of U.S. population. You take a look at energy infrastructure for natural gas, for electric transportation, for a number of things, we are going to be in a leadership position just by virtue of geographically where we’re at, by the size of our industries and our particular need. Our leadership position in a lot of industry in our state relies on energy. If you don’t take a leadership position and you don’t advocate for your position here in Ohio (other states) basically are going to eat you alive. You need to advocate…we need to take a look at basic energy needs here in Ohio.

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Kelli Milligan Stammen is director of publications for the Ohio Farm Bureau.