Last year, when North Carolina lawmakers were debating capping and ending the state’s expensive renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) mandate, I wrote that North Carolina was positioned to lead the nation in protecting electricity consumers from expensive electricity.

Well, cronyism won and North Carolina shamefully faltered in its chance to lead.

So instead, Ohio seizes the mantle:

Gov. John Kasich plans to sign a controversial pullback on renewable-energy rules that passed the Ohio House yesterday. …

The bill passed the House 53-38, overcoming opposition from nearly all Democrats and some Republicans who said the measure will lead to job losses and an increase in air pollution. …

Senate Bill 310 is a two-year freeze on standards that apply to electricity utilities for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

It also makes major changes to the rules when they resume in 2017, ending a requirement that utilities purchase half of their renewable energy from within the state and expanding the types of projects that count as energy efficiency.

The standards needed to be changed because they “are simply not achievable or sustainable,” said Rep. Peter Stautberg, R-Anderson Township.

Ohio is the first state of the 29 with renewable-energy standards to pass a reduction of the standards in both legislative chambers. Similar proposals have been made in more than a dozen other states and were all beaten back by some of the same concerns that were expressed in Ohio.