- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio House has approved a bill making compliance with the state’s renewable energy mandates optional for the next three years.

The Republican-led House voted for the bill 51-36 Tuesday. It’s scheduled for a Senate committee hearing Wednesday and a possible vote by the full Senate Thursday.

Lawmakers acted as a two-year freeze of the mandates signed by Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) is set to expire this month.

Benchmarks established in 2008 that were gradually increasing electric utilities’ use of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power will resume, if lawmakers don’t act.

The 2008 standards also require utilities to find measurable ways for consumers to reduce their energy use.

Renewable-energy companies and environmental advocates call the optional mandates a freeze in another form.

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