Recent news

Valley labor, peace activist Staughton Lynd dies at 92

Nov 18, 2022 11:29 AM

Ohio Citizen Action extends condolences to Alice Lynd upon the death of her husband Staughton at the age of 92. Both Staughton and Alice are great examples of "principled tenacity", a characteristic among many that won them our highest recognition, the Howard M. Metzenbaum Award in 2012.

YOUNGSTOWN -- "Originally from Philadelphia, Lynd practiced law in Youngstown, including for several years with Northeast Ohio Legal Services, during the turbulent years of the local steel industry’s demise in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He worked closely with a variety of forces that tried to keep the steel mills open and operating....

In 1964, Lynd oversaw setting up Freedom Schools throughout Mississippi, which were the backbone of Freedom Summer, led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Congress of Racial Equality, two major civil rights organizations that recruited hundreds of mostly white and young Northerners to come to the state to help blacks register to vote and receive a better education. He also worked with the late Bob Moses, an educator and activist who was the Freedom Summer’s main organizer...

Lynd was well known and revered in the Valley for his activism on behalf of workers and others."

--Sean Barron, The Youngstown Vindicator

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The Energy Policy Ohio Needs!

Oct 12, 2022 4:00 PM

Ohio is one of the largest carbon emitters in the U.S. and 26th largest in the world. Sadly, corruption at a level previously unseen in Ohio was unveiled by the energy bill bribery scandal surrounding House Bill 6 (HB6) in 2020. Thus far, the legislative response to this 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 given to Ohio’s regulatory framework for monopoly utilities and the necessary structural reforms and safeguards required for accountability, transparency, and equity.

In response, the Ohio Energy Jobs and Justice Act (EJJA) was developed as a comprehensive energy policy initiative that implements equitable, clean energy solutions and carbon reductions. It ensures much-needed accountability, transparency, and Public Utilities Commission (PUCO)reform. Passage of EJJA will require retail electric providers to submit to the PUCO detailed plans reducing carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Ohio has potential to be a leader in renewable energy. About 20% of U.S. electricity comes from renewable sources (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Contrastingly, Ohio, gets around 3% of its energy from renewables. Women and Black workers are vastly underrepresented in the clean energy workforce, an industry paying higher-than-average wages and the fastest-growing source of jobs in the U.S., according to a new report by a coalition of energy organizations. True energy and manufacturing progress will be successful only when measured by future generations who can value its sustainability. Tell your legislator to support EJJA.

 

Marcia Schulz

Stow, OH


EJJA is One of the Most Important Pieces of Legislation

Oct 10, 2022 4:16 PM

As a Father and Grandfather living in central Ohio, I feel the Energy Jobs & Justice act is one of the most important pieces of legislation in front of our elected officials. We have long put off changing the way we produce the energy we need to uphold our standard of living. The consequences of any action or inaction we take right now will exact a toll on our future generations exponentially greater than the problems we currently face. The bill will also address equity issues that keep disadvantaged people from becoming productive citizens -a problem that affects everyone. I ask that our representatives in state government please get behind this bill and keep our state healthy, beautiful and prosperous!

Peter Cary

Columbus, OH


Ohio Citizen Action Adds Local Electric Aggregation Issues to List of Endorsements

Sep 26, 2022 4:20 PM

 

COLUMBUS — Following last week’s round of candidate endorsements, Ohio Citizen Action (OCA) proudly announced today the organization’s second round of c4 endorsements for the 2022 election cycle. The endorsements include electric aggregation ballot initiatives currently being considered in the Ohio communities of Clayton (Issue #14), Trotwood (Issue #23), and Marble Cliff (Question #48). 

“Ohio Citizen Action is excited to be offering our support and endorsement to the communities of Clayton, Trotwood, and Marble Cliff as they give their voters the chance to say yes to electric aggregation,” said Ohio Citizen Action Political Director Kyle Marcum. “Aggregation can promote electricity savings by bringing consumers together to leverage buying power and secure better rates.”

As part of their work around these announced aggregation endorsements, OCA will be knocking on doors and talking with Ohio voters in those communities about the ballot initiatives and the benefit of electric aggregation measures. OCA is a c4 organization that focuses on mobilizing Ohioans around improving environmental quality, protecting consumers, and preserving voting rights. 

“In the Village of Marble Cliff, the electric aggregation ballot initiative will also give voters the opportunity to support 100 percent renewable clean energy plans where power purchased by the utility serving that area is generated by zero-emissions sources,” said Marcum. “Renewable energy aggregation plans can reduce carbon emissions and create both a healthier environment and a healthier economy.”


Energy Policy Should Work for Ohio's People

Sep 26, 2022 3:12 PM

After watching how the House Bill 6 scandal revealed the structural flaws in the way State government regulates utilities, it is time for a new approach. The Energy, Jobs, and Justice Act return accountability to Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Instead of bailing out the fossil-fuel dinosaurs of the past, this bill will launch one of the largest economic development initiatives in recent history and prioritize clean energy jobs and (finally) direct resources to Ohio communities that have historically faced disinvestment.

Let's change our Energy policy to work for Ohio's people not the GOP's Cronies.


Matthew Feinberg

Cleveland, OH


2022 endorsement announcement

Sep 22, 2022 4:24 PM

Ohio Citizen Action proudly announces the organization’s first round of c4 candidate endorsements in nearly 30 years. The 2022 endorsement slate includes statewide, Congressional, and state legislative candidates. 

“After nearly 30 years, Ohio Citizen Action has made the choice to engage in the endorsement process again to better inform and engage Ohio voters in the democratic process,” said Ohio Citizen Action Political Director, Kyle Marcum. “The candidates endorsed by Ohio Citizen Action are demonstrably pro-climate and firmly committed to protecting voting rights for the residents of Ohio. This election is just too important to sit it out.” 

Endorsed candidates include:

  • Jennifer Brunner (D) for Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice
  • Marilyn Zayas (D) for Ohio Supreme Court
  • Terri Jamison (D) for Ohio Supreme Court
  • Tim Ryan (D) for U.S. Senate
  • Greg Landsman (D) for U.S. Congress (CD-1)
  • Marcy Kaptur (D) for U.S. Congress (CD-9)
  • Emilia Sykes (D) for U.S. Congress (CD-13)
  • Casey Weinstein (D) for Ohio State Representative (HD-34)

As part of our work around these announced endorsements, OCA will be knocking on doors and talking with Ohio voters in targeted areas around the state in support of the endorsed candidates. OCA is a c4 organization that focuses on mobilizing Ohioans around improving environmental quality, protecting consumers, and preserving voting rights. A second round of issue endorsements is expected to be announced within the next week. 

“Given the abject failure of Ohio’s leaders in securing Constitutionally fair and final electoral maps, as well as the unprecedented energy scandal that still casts a shadow over Ohio’s Statehouse, support for candidates who are dedicated to ensuring legislative and electoral integrity has become even more critical,” said Marcum. “For too long, many of Ohio’s elected officials have turned a blind eye to monumental issues such as climate change, gerrymandering, and corruption. We deserve better, and Ohio Citizen Action is ready to help mobilize support for candidates who put Ohioans first.”


House Bill 429 is a Vital Step for Ohio

Sep 15, 2022 3:10 PM

As a mother raising my children in Ohio, our backwards energy policies are a cause for anxiety. Ohio families deserve better than pollution and high energy bills. That’s why I’m supporting House Bill 429: Energy Jobs and Justice Act.

If passed, HB429 will save Ohioans money by protecting energy customers against massive utility rate increases that drive up our energy bills. HB429 supports the development of clean energy businesses and job training programs in alternative energy industries that focus on energy waste reduction as well as investing in renewable energy like solar, wind, and geothermal energy.

Supporting these energy alternatives and their infrastructure in Ohio gives Ohioans the opportunity to create an in-demand workforce. Actively transitioning away from fossil fuels and updating our outdated power grid making it reliable, resilient, and secure.

House Bill 429 is a vital step for Ohio in improving our environment, saving Ohioans money, and creating clean energy jobs while working toward the goal of a 100% reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Ohio families deserve a healthy environment, affordable clean energy, and the jobs that energy creates. I urge everyone to take this important step for Ohio and contact your representatives in support of House Bill 429: Energy Jobs and Justice Act.


Sarah Ricks

Canal Winchester, OH


We Cannot Lag Behind the Rest of the World

Sep 13, 2022 3:08 PM

As a lifelong Ohioan I have been here through the ups and downs, and it is about time we pick up our feet on environmental policy. Growing up near Akron I now have lifelong asthma due to the horrible air quality here and have first hand experience on how our terrible environmental standards ruin the beauty of the nature around us.

I love Ohio and hate to see such irresponsible energy policy corrupt our environment. Thats why the Energy Jobs and Justice act needs to be passed so that we don't have to let another generation suffer through bad air quality and declining environment. This act will greatly reduce our carbon emissions (50% by 2030) and in addition will open up hundreds of new jobs in the renewable, clean energy sector.

As Ohioans we need to do better. We cannot lag behind the rest of the world and leave future generations with the burden of climate change.


Eleanor Webb

Cleveland, OH


Let's Get Behind the Energy Jobs & Justice Act!

Sep 08, 2022 3:03 PM

My wife and I attended a fundraiser for a Congressional candidate last week. He pointed out that renewable energy accounts for approximately 10% of America’s energy sources (actually only 3% in Ohio). Experts state that if we increase that to 20% in the next several years, a lot of the oil politics that dominate our news cycles and affect us personally may be a thing of the past.
If we can reduce our dependency on others, producing all the power we need here at home, we would be creating energy independence which would go a long way to reducing the current inflation and we can remove our heavy, carbon footprint on the Earth.

It is for these reasons and others that I support the Energy Jobs and Justice Act (house Bill 429. Its passage would facilitate Ohio expanding its use of solar and wind energy sources which would lessen the burden of coal, oil, and gas. The bill would ensure much-needed accountability and transparency with the Public Utilities Commission, and it would invest millions per year in workforce development and contractor equity by directing resources to Ohio communities that have historically faced disinvestment and will draw in billions per year of new private workforce investment in Ohio.
I encourage all citizens of Ohio to encourage their State Representatives to vote yes on this bill.


Mark Jaffee

Oberlin, OH


PUCO Needs Reforms

Aug 12, 2022 12:36 PM

We're finally getting more of the picture regarding what led to the House Bill 6 scandal. A trove of more than 2,000 records subpoenaed by the FBI shows how former PUCO chair Sam Randazzo, Governor Mike DeWine and others acted leading up to and during passage of HB 6.

The records also prove that, together we are a force to be reckoned with

No one exerted more influence over Ohio's corrupt energy policy than Sam Randazzo. Our Ohio Consumers Power Alliance project was correct to call for his resignation.

Thank you to the 2,467 members like you who wrote to demand Gov. Mike DeWine remove him from the PUCO.

Those that were shaping energy policy during these scandalous past few years must be held to account. Won't you please help?


We wholeheartedly agree with this editorial from Sunday's Toledo Blade:

It’s an embarrassment to the very concept of state ethics laws that a regulator could earn millions from a firm he regulated while filing Ohio financial disclosure statements.

It would be better to abolish the Ohio Ethics Commission than to allow this massive failure of process to go unfixed.


Regulators’ foot-dragging on releasing public records hides the full story behind Ohio’s utility corruption scandal. We deserve the truth.

New information comes to light every day affirming that Ohioans have been left in the dark about how our energy policy is made. But PUCO still hasn't produced all the documents from both before and after Randazzo's tenure.

We demand to know:

WHY has the PUCO mostly stayed the course with the approach Randazzo crafted for the agency’s limited and piecemeal response to the HB 6 scandal?

WHY did Gov. DeWine use his personal email to communicate with former PUCO chair Sam Randazzo about House Bill 6?

WHY has the PUCO stymied challengers’ fact-finding efforts in various HB 6-related cases, as well as delaying timelines for those cases, which won’t wrap up before DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted face re-election in the fall?

And WHAT, if anything, has DeWine told the PUCO since Randazzo left about investigating alleged corruption?


Power A Clean Future Ohio goes to Washington

On Thursday August 4, Power a Clean Future Ohio Executive Director Joe Flarida delivered expert testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs during its hearing, "Borrowed Time: The Economic Costs of Climate Change.”

Joe presented the findings from a first-of-its-kind report, The Bill is Coming Due: Calculating the Financial Cost of Climate Change to Ohio’s Local Governments, which provides a conservative estimate of the additional costs that municipalities can expect to incur due to climate change.

According to the report, local governments across Ohio will need to increase municipal spending by as much as $5.9 billion annually by midcentury to adapt to the challenges of a worsening climate crisis.