COLUMBUS — “If you’re a supporter of clean and renewable energy, you know our state legislators often work against new forms of energy. And, today’s news of the Ohio Senate’s confirmation of Sam Randazzo as the chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) was yet another example.
With this one appointment, Governor DeWine and the entire legislature have put Ohio further behind, turned their backs on billions of dollars in economic development, thousands of jobs and cleaner air for our children.
They appointed Sam Randazzo knowing he has fought against renewable energy as a lawyer and former lobbyist with Industrial Energy Users-Ohio. He also successfully worked with Rep. Bill Seitz to end future wind development in Ohio in 2014 and has worked on legislation to roll-back Ohio’s modest renewable energy standards.
Randazzo’s application of a conflict-of-interest standard also bears scrutiny. In 2016 he objected to the nomination of Howard Petricoff, a lawyer with ties to the wind industry, siting conflict-of-interest. As PUCO Chairman, he now will preside over both groups he represented and vehemently opposed. We will join others in demanding he recuse himself from all matters involving his former clients and opponents. However, we have serious doubt that he will do the ethical thing and recuse himself from the cases and projects he so adamantly fought against.
What this means for us, Ohioans who share a cleaner, greener vision of our energy future, is more work, more vigilance and more power-building. As the systems and agencies designed to protect the public’s interest become usurped by corporate interests bent on propping up coal and nuclear power, we must let them know we’re watching and fight back. Governor DeWine and Mr. Randazzo must hear from the pro-clean energy majority of their constituents, regularly and often. Our fight for Ohio’s renewable energy future depends on it.”
— Rachael Belz, executive director, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance
COLUMBUS — “Gov. Mike DeWine has picked a Columbus attorney with a long history in the state’s energy business to lead the the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
DeWine announced on Monday that Samuel Randazzo will be chairman of the five-member commission, replacing Asim Haque as chairman, who announced Monday he was stepping down March 1 to serve in a role with Philadelphia-based PJM Interconnection.
…Renewable energy advocates are critical of the choice, expressing concern that Randazzo would oppose clean-energy investments such as solar and wind farms.
‘Ohio deserves better than Gov. DeWine’s choice of Sam Randazzo as PUCO chair,’ Rachael Belz, executive director of Ohio Citizen Action said in an email. ‘Ohio Citizen Action members will fight even harder to make sure Gov. DeWine and Mr. Randazzo hear from all of their constituents, a majority of whom favor clean energy over outdated, expensive coal and fossil fuels.’
Dave Anderson, spokesman for the Energy and Policy Institute, said the nomination ‘is further evidence of the undue influence of fossil fuel and utility interests over energy policy in Ohio.'”
— Tristan Navera, Columbus Business First
COLUMBUS — “Samuel Randazzo, an attorney and lobbyist known for playing a leading role in political attacks on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Ohio, is the among the candidates vying for a seat on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
Randazzo is one of nine candidates who will be interviewed by the PUCO Nominating Council on Thursday. The 12-member council will then select four candidates to recommend to Governor Mike DeWine for further consideration at the same meeting.
…As a lobbyist for the Industrial Energy Users of Ohio (IEU-Ohio), Randazzo helped to draft controversial legislation aimed at rolling back Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
He has represented individual IEU-Ohio member companies like Marathon Petroleum Company before the PUCO as they seek approval for so-called ‘reasonable arrangements’ with utilities. These deals allow some industrial ratepayers to pay lower rates for energy, at the expense of residential consumers.
Randazzo has also fought the development of wind power in Ohio as a lobbyist and attorney for Greenwich Neighbors United, an anti-wind group that refers to climate change as a ‘hoax’ on its website.”
— Dave Anderson, Energy and Policy Institute