(1) Identify, plan, organize, initiate, and sponsor studies, research, and experimental, pilot, and demonstration facilities and projects that would lead to the development and more efficient utilization of present, new, or alternative energy sources in this state, to the conservation of energy, to the attraction of federal and other development funding in emerging and established national or state priority areas, or to the enhancement of the economic development of the state;
(2) Promote, assist, and provide financial assistance for the development of nonprofit corporations organized and established under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code to further the purposes of this section;
(3) Seek out, apply for, receive, and accept grants, gifts, contributions, loans, and other assistance in any form from public and private sources, including assistance from any governmental agency;
(4) Make grants under division (F) of section 1551.12 of the Revised Code from funds that are appropriated by the general assembly and from gifts or grants obtained under division (A)(3) of this section for the purposes of developing, constructing, or operating experimental, pilot, and demonstration facilities or programs which develop, test, or demonstrate more efficient and environmentally acceptable methods of extracting energy resources; new concepts, programs, or technology for the conservation of energy; new concepts, programs, or technology for the efficient and environmentally acceptable utilization of present, new, or alternative energy sources; or concepts, programs, or technology which develop resources of the state. Grants may be made, without limitation, for projects and programs such as experimental demonstrations of the use of Ohio coal in processes which would facilitate its widespread use as a source of energy; experimental demonstrations of new or improved coal, natural gas, and natural petroleum extraction techniques and of reclamation techniques at the extraction sites; experimental demonstrations or development of solar heating and cooling and potentially energy-efficient construction in public buildings, schools, offices, commercial establishments, and residential homes; development of programs or experimental demonstrations of the utilization of waste products in energy production and mineral and energy conservation; and development of programs or experimental demonstrations of technologies which would permit utility pricing policies which may reduce the consumer costs of energy.
(5) Enter into agreements with persons and governmental agencies, in any combination, for the purposes of this section.
(B) Any materials or data submitted to, made available by or to, or received by the director under division (A) of this section, division (F) of section 1551.12 , or division (B) of section 1551.15 of the Revised Code, and any information taken from those materials or data for any purpose, to the extent that those materials or data consist of trade secrets or other proprietary information, are not public information or public documents and shall not be open to public inspection.
(C) The exercise by the director of the powers conferred by sections 1551.01 to 1551.25 of the Revised Code for the preservation or creation of jobs and employment opportunities for the people of this state through the development and efficient utilization of energy resources of the state is in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state, and is determined to be an essential government function and public purpose of the state.
Effective Date: 06-26-2003