Outlook: Ohio University News & Information

University collaborates with Ohio State on state climate change study

Project funded by federal stimulus money
Apr 16, 2010
From staff reports

Ohio University will partner with Ohio State University to study the impact of climate change policy in Ohio. Gov. Ted Strickland announced on Thursday that the universities won $500,000 in federal stimulus money for the study, which will identify a course of action for the state to enact federal climate change policies.

Ohio University's Scott Miller, director of energy and environmental programs for the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, will serve as project director.

"This will be a groundbreaking opportunity to contribute to the enhancement of Ohio's economy," said Miller. "This project is the realization of years of work by both Ohio University and Ohio State University and makes this team the go-to institutions in the state of Ohio on greenhouse gas assessment, climate policy analysis, climate policy development and economic assessment."

In addition to the Voinovich School, the principle OHIO units involved include the Center for Air Quality, led by Director Kevin Crist, and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the effort will help Ohio residents better understand climate change issues and the impact to the state's businesses, communities, and residents.

The team's proposal outlines a 12-month work plan that calls for a statewide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions to determine how the federal policies will affect the state's economy ? and, in particular, the impact to energy-intensive industries.

Miller said there are five principle tasks in the proposal:
?    Collecting and analyzing greenhouse gas emissions in Ohio
?    Conducting a federal legislative policy scan for climate change legislation that will evaluate:

  1.     the deployment of renewable energy in Ohio
  2.     the viability of a carbon offset program in the state
  3.     the viability of geologic carbon sequestration in the state

?    A major briefing for Ohio leaders on the current state of emissions and the risk or impact of legislation on Ohio?s economy
?    Drafting new state policies
?    Conducting detailed economic modeling based upon policy options identified through the study

Once completed, a final report will be presented to Ohio's leaders, outlining potential available policies.

In addition to himself and Crist, Miller said the team will utilize several consultants, including Mike Zimmer, the Voinovich School's executive-in-residence for Energy and the Environment, Andrea Bassi from the Millennium Institute in Arlington, Virginia, and Joel Yudken from High Road Strategies in Arlington, who will augment the leadership team.

According to the governor's office, this announcement marks the third round of funding through Ohio's $96 million State Energy Program plan, which the U.S. Department of Energy accepted last June.

"How Ohio addresses the climate change challenge will have an impact on our economy for decades to come," Mark Shanahan, Strickland?s energy adviser, said in a release. "These American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will allow two great Ohio higher education institutions to help us make the right choices."


Published: Apr 16, 2010 10:12 AM

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