Amid the HB 6 scandal, Ohio utility regulators must act to reassure ratepayers of the integrity of Ohio regulation

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- "While the substance of the House Bill 6 legislation is questionable, given its bestowing more private than public benefits and its adverse impact on the electricity market, the charges related to unlawful lobbying for its passage raise critical issues for both prosecutors and state regulators.

Based entirely on the public record, the situation demands accountability. Criminal prosecution, alone, is insufficient. There are important issues that go to the functionality and integrity of the Ohio’s regulatory process.

The two most critical issues are:

1. Whether ratepayer money was used for lobbying and/or bribery; and

2. Possible deficiencies in corporate governance.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) cannot stand by while the credibility of the regulatory process is eroded. It has tools which have been used in the past that should be deployed without disrupting the ongoing criminal investigations."

-- Ashley C. Brown, executive director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Kennedy School at Harvard University. He served two full terms as a PUCO commissioner from 1983-1993, guest column, cleveleand.com

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