By JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two years ago, Republican Gov. John Kasich championed a major rewrite of Ohio energy policies.
The Republican governor's 2012 legislation accounted for newly accessible shale gas and embraced Ohio's renewable energy and efficiency targets as vital to the state's economic future.
Now, Kasich is ready to sign legislation freezing phase-in of those mandates. The bill's champions in the Republican-led Legislature cite Ohio's burgeoning shale-gas industry as a key driver, sounding much like Kasich did two years ago.
Kasich's spokesman Rob Nichols says signing the bill won't represent a reversal. He says the governor occupies "the sensible center" by supporting a two-year pause so Ohio's 2008 clean energy standards can be re-evaluated.
Critics say by backing the freeze, Kasich will be abandoning the principles of his own energy plan.
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