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The premier grassroots mobilizing and organizing team in the Midwest.

Our Mission:

Ohio Citizen Action organizes and mobilizes people to advocate for public interests. In person, by phone, and online, we engage people in actions that protect public health, improve environmental quality, and benefit consumers. Our campaigns connect Ohioans and build a movement to protect democracy and create a sustainable future.

The Premier Grassroots Mobilizing and Organizing Team in the Midwest
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Current Focus: Repeal HB 6
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Latest Updates

DeWine rejects list of nominees for Ohio utility commission

Jan 21, 2021 1:24 PM

Four names were submitted to DeWine in December by the council as potential replacements for former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo

COLUMBUS (AP) — "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine faced swift criticism from consumer advocates Wednesday after he rejected the entire slate of candidates nominated to replace a former top state utility regulator tainted by a $60 million federal bribery investigation and requested a new list...

Four names were submitted to DeWine in December by the council as potential replacements for former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo, who resigned Nov. 20.

Randazzo stepped down days after an FBI search of his Columbus townhome and a revelation by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., the utility at the center of the bribery scandal, that it had paid the firm of a state official meeting Randazzo’s description $4 million in early 2019 to terminate a long-term consulting relationship.

'Why would Gov. DeWine turn away professionals with extensive utility market experience and consumer advocacy expertise who could have brought a fresh start and much-needed perspective to a PUCO that is currently in the shadows of scandal?' asked Rachael Belz, director of the Ohio Consumers Power Alliance, in a statement.

'Unless Gov. DeWine is willing to provide us with his reasons for rejecting these candidates,' she added, 'it begs the question as to who exactly is steering the ship in Ohio — Gov. DeWine or the utilities?'"

— JULIE CARR SMYTH and MARK GILLISPIE, The Associated Press

link to full article


FBI investigation revealed vast FirstEnergy-backed political network hidden through lax state disclosure rules

Jan 19, 2021 11:33 PM

FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy headquarters in Akron

COLUMBUS – "Legal filings and media reports over the past six months gradually have peeled back the layers of a dark-money political network funded by FirstEnergy, the Akron-based utility company.

But because state and federal law don’t require political nonprofits to disclose their donors, the only reason the public knows about anything about the utility’s ties to the expansive constellation of Ohio political causes is the federal investigation into House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout law which prosecutors say passed due to a $61 million bribery scheme, funded by FirstEnergy and its affiliates through secret or difficult to trace political donations.

The U.S. attorney overseeing the case, David DeVillers, said anonymous political spending played a key role in the scandal. 'Dark money is a breeding ground for corruption,' he said in a statement shortly after then-House Speaker Larry Householder and others were arrested last July, revealing the investigation."

– Andrew Tobias, cleveland.com

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Ohio regulators set to officially pause nuclear bailout fees created through tainted energy bill

Jan 14, 2021 1:50 PM

"Perry Nuclear Power Plant Marks 30 Years of Safe and Reliable Operation by FirstEnergy Corp. is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0"

COLUMBUS — "Ohio’s top lawyer asked a court Thursday to block FirstEnergy Corp. from collecting special fees from customers that were set up under a now-tainted nuclear bailout bill to allow the company to maintain record-high profits even if electricity sales dip.

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost filed his request in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, where a judge already has blocked fees that House Bill 6 established for bailing out two nuclear power plants operated by a former FirstEnergy subsidiary, Energy Harbor.

The bill is at the center of a $60 million federal bribery probe that alleges Larry Householder, the state House speaker at the time, used the money to politically position and succeed at passing the bailout bill. Householder and four others charged have pleaded not guilty.

Yost said customers also should not have to pay the $102 million that FirstEnergy is set to collect in 2021 through a 'perverse form a decoupling' that not only unlinked how much the company makes from how much electricity it sells but guaranteed it maintain the level of profits at record-high 2018 levels."

— Associated Press, The Toledo Blade

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