On September 21st, State Representatives Casey Weinstein and Stephanie Howse were joined by youth, public health, and community leaders as they introduced the Energy Jobs & Justice Act, a bold, comprehensive energy policy for all Ohioans. It implements equitable clean energy solutions and carbon reductions while ensuring much-needed accountability, transparency, and Public Utilities Commission reform.
The news of the bribery scandal surrounding House Bill 6 in 2020 unveiled deep corruption at a level previously unseen in the state of Ohio. In addition, it exposed deep structural flaws in the utility regulatory system and a utility landscape devoid of adequate oversight. It is clear that any legislative response to the House Bill 6 scandal must address the underlying monopoly utility culture that enabled the scandal and provide needed oversight to prevent future issues.
To date, the legislative response to the House Bill 6 scandal has focused almost exclusively on the bill’s individual policy provisions—nuclear subsidies, coal bailouts, renewable energy portfolio standards, energy efficiency, etc. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the structural reforms and safeguards needed to bring accountability, transparency, and equity to Ohio’s regulatory framework for monopoly utilities. The Energy Jobs & Justice Act is designed to ensure a scandal such as this never happens in Ohio again.
The Energy Jobs & Justice Act consists of three main objectives:
- Move Ohio towards a more equitable clean energy future by encouraging clean energy growth, energy waste reduction, and curbing utility influence over policymaking and regulatory actions
- Launch the state’s largest economic development initiative in recent history by prioritizing clean energy jobs and environmental justice programs
- Center equitable policy designed to ensure clean energy benefits go to those most historically and disproportionately harmed by Ohio’s regressive energy policies
The Energy Jobs & Justice Act proposes to move Ohio toward a comprehensive clean energy policy rooted in equity, economic development, and accountability. Building a strategy around solutions that are good for our economy, our communities, and our health will ensure that Ohio emerges with an energy policy designed for all Ohioans. Ohio Citizen Action is proud to be a supporter of the Energy Jobs & Justice Act.
To learn more about the Energy Jobs & Justice Act, please visit their website here.