"Even when hearings were held in the House and Senate, most of those testifying were legislators and officials representing groups such as the Ohio Manufacturers Association and the Ohio Consumers' Counsel.
Citizens, on the other hand, haven't had their say, Leppla said.
'Essentially what we are seeing is that the public is not being invited to testify,' she said. 'It is a really corrupt piece of legislation. It's really important for the public to be heard.'
The fund along with several other groups such as the Ohio Citizen Action, Black Environmental Leaders and Solar United Neighbors have come together to hold the hearings, the first of which was held Wednesday."
-- Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch
watch the hearing from October 21st on youtube
learn more about the hearings and sign up at www.ohiocitizen.org/testify
"Along with phasing out the energy efficiency requirement and surcharge, HB 6 guts the state’s renewable portfolio standard. That’s a mandate that utilities get at least 12.5% of their power from renewable sources by 2027. Under the bill, the standard drops to 8.5% immediately and disappears in 2027.
These programs, essential to spurring innovation and investment in clean energy, already were modest compared with those of other states. Slashing them further is an embarrassment to Ohio, highlighting the General Assembly’s shortsightedness and lack of leadership.
Lawmakers can fix that by repealing HB 6 and crafting an energy bill that works for Ohioans rather than for moneyed interests, lobbyists and politicians on the take."
-- The Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board
"The main reason, lawmakers and observers say, is because – much like congressional Republicans' unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare in 2017 – there’s no consensus among GOP lawmakers on what, if anything, to replace HB6 with.
Some favor a straight repeal of HB6. Others think it should be replaced, and at least a few believe nothing at all should be done to alter it.
'They are all over the place,' said state Rep. Mark Romanchuk of Richland County about his fellow Republicans.
There are other reasons as well. Even Republicans who favor repealing and replacing House Bill 6 say they need time to study HB6, an enormously complex law that goes far beyond the nuclear bailout, and make sure that any changes they make to it won’t have unintended consequences for Ohioans."
-- Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com
If you want to contact your legislator about HB 6, visit repealhb6.com
The Lobbyist Who Became Ohio’s Top Utility Regulator
PITTSBURGH, PA -- "Dave Anderson, policy and communications manager for the left-leaning Energy and Policy Institute, points out that Sam Randazzo, chairman the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and of the Ohio Power Siting Board, has had his hand in all of this.
'He is known as a fairly strong anti-wind zealot,' Anderson said.
Randazzo has been a well-known lobbyist for industrial energy users, gas utilities, and anti-wind groups. He also helped draft earlier legislation to freeze Ohio’s renewable energy mandates. According to Anderson, Randazzo’s appointment last year as the state’s top utility regulator is indicative of Ohio’s energy policy.
'I think it’s all part of a bigger picture of opposition to renewable energy,' he said. 'And House Bill 6 was the ultimate get for opponents of renewables in Ohio.'
Randazzo declined repeated requests to comment for this story. A spokesman for the Ohio Power Siting Board said since the Icebreaker Wind decision is under appeal, the Chairman cannot speak on these issues."
--Julie Grant, The Allegheny Front
COLUMBUS -- "Facebook, General Mills and Nestle are among about 50 companies that have written a letter to Ohio leaders urging the repeal of House Bill 6, the 2019 nuclear-bailout law that has become the target of federal investigators.
'As businesses, investors, trade associations and employers, we urge the repeal of House Bill 6 in light of the disturbing and shocking allegations made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,' said the letter, which was sent to Gov. Mike DeWine and the leaders of the state House and Senate.
Repeal of the legislation, which the legislature passed and DeWine signed a year ago, 'will help restore public confidence and ensure continued growth of Ohio’s clean energy economy,' the letter said."
-- Mark Williams, Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS -- "Not only does he intend to keep Dan McCarthy in his administration, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine might use McCarthy to lobby the legislature for another nuclear bailout.
McCarthy, DeWine’s legislative affairs director, is a former lobbyist for FirstEnergy who set up a dark money group that funneled millions of corporate dollars into a second dark-money group that federal prosecutors say is at the heart of the biggest bribery scandal in Ohio history.
...as president of the 501(c)(4) Partners for Progress, McCarthy was a conduit for corporate cash to flow into a scheme that resulted in one of the biggest scandals ever to rock the Ohio Capitol.
Such organizations are called “dark-money” groups because they don’t have to disclose their donors."
-- Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal
In what they have referred to as an effort to restore trust and confidence, the members of the Ohio House of Representatives have selected Representative Bob Cupp as their new Speaker.
Rep. Cupp voted in favor of House Bill 6 on two separate occasions and received campaign money from FirstEnergy, including an ethically questionable donation from the corporation while serving as a justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio.
This decision has done nothing to instill trust with the public, and Speaker Cupp now has a lot to prove.
His first act as Speaker should be to call for an immediate and clean repeal of HB 6. He must show Ohioans that he is not simply Householder 2.0. Ohioans have lost confidence in their elected officials. It is time for legislators to listen to their constituents and not their big utility donors.
It’s time to fully repeal HB 6.
- Rachael Belz, Director, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance
"According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, Ohio’s two nuclear power plants account for 87% of the state’s zero emission electricity.
That’s not exactly something to write home about. Considering that the cost of renewable energy is continuing to drop with no end in sight, this would be a bad time to double down on expensive nuclear energy.
Nevertheless, Ohio Citizen Action estimates that the HB6 nuclear bailout will sock ratepayers with $200 million in increased costs.
HB6 was signed into law last year, saddling Ohio ratepayers with two aging nuclear power plants and two old coal power plants, to boot.
'Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 6 (HB 6) into law on July 23, 2019, approving bailouts for the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, which are owned by FirstEnergy’s former subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), and were previously scheduled to close in 2020 and 2021, respectively, after FES announced its bankruptcy,' explains Ohio Citizen Action. 'The final version of the bill extends the bailout to two old and dirty coal plants—Kyger Creek in southern Ohio and Clifty Creek in Indiana.'"
-- Tina Casey, CleanTechnica
COLUMBUS — "Gov. Mike DeWine reversed himself and called for the repeal of the House Bill 6 on Thursday, saying Speaker Larry Householder’s alleged bribery scheme “forever tainted” the $1.3 billion nuclear bailout law.
DeWine, who signed HB6 a year ago Thursday, reiterated that he supports the policy laid out in the bailout, saying it’s needed to preserve jobs at the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants and keep carbon-free sources of energy.
'While the policy in my opinion is good, the process by which it was created stinks. It’s terrible, it’s not acceptable,' DeWine said during his televised coronavirus briefing.
The governor’s announcement marks a reversal from just the day before, when he stood by HB6 despite the federal charges against Householder and four allies regarding their acceptance of more than $60 million from FirstEnergy Corp. to get HB6 passed and thwart an anti-HB6 referendum effort."
— Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland.com
"Now that it’s clear that Ohio’s draconian energy policy was passed based on bribery and corruption, legislators should act immediately to repeal the law.
While Gov. Mike DeWine has called for Householder’s resignation, he has not called for the repeal of the corrupt coal bailout. That’s perhaps not surprising, since DeWine has himself taken money from FirstEnergy. DeWine’s staff even made plans to fly legislators on a taxpayer-funded plane to make Householder’s last-minute vote for the bailout. The day after DeWine signed the law, he attended a Trump fundraiser hosted by coal baron Bob Murray. He seems quite cozy with the fossil fuel industry.
If DeWine is not in bed with FirstEnergy, then he should be calling for HB 6 to be reversed immediately. This law was passed by corrupt politicians. The effort to overturn it by popular will was thwarted by a corrupt utility. If DeWine can’t see this invalidates Ohio’s energy law, then perhaps he has a bigger problem.
We cannot allow utility corruption to continue to stall clean energy progress. This FBI affidavit is a wake-up call to all politicians: Stop taking electric utilities’ money."
-- Leah Stokes, Vox