Recent news

Ohio environmental groups hold virtual hearings over House Bill 6 repeal

Oct 21, 2020 1:57 PM

"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 

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watch the hearing from October 21st on youtube

learn more about the hearings and sign up at www.ohiocitizen.org/testify


The nuclear bailout nobody's talking about

Oct 19, 2020 1:41 PM

COLUMBUS -- "In February, seven months after Gov. Mike Dewine signed the $1.3 billion ratepayer bailout that mostly would subsidize two Northern Ohio nuclear plants, FirstEnergy might have gotten an even bigger break in U.S. bankruptcy court. That’s when Judge Alan M. Koschik signed off on a settlement that largely excused FirstEnergy from footing part of the bill to clean up the aging nuclear plants in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania that it had bequeathed to to its successor, now known as Energy Harbor, in the event that company goes belly up.

If the new company can’t make a go of it with the nuclear and coal plants that had been owned by FirstEnergy, taxpayers could well be on the hook for whatever part of the estimated $10 billion nuclear cleanup that Energy Harbor and a trust fund it’s required to maintain can’t.

Those are cleanups that, for financial reasons, will take 60 years — decades during which the crumbling cooling tower of the company’s Davis-Besse plant, for example, will loom over the Lake Erie shoreline in view of South Bass Island, one of Ohio’s premier tourist attractions."

-- Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal

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Please urge your legislators to repeal HB6! Already contacted them? Email again -- and encourage others to do the same -- at repealhb6.com!


Ohio GOP lawmakers' big stall in response to alleged HB 6 corruption cannot stand

Oct 16, 2020 4:38 PM

"HB 6′s nuclear, coal and solar subsidies are due to kick in on Jan. 1, pulling in up to $170 million annually from Ohio ratepayers. Yet in the 12 weeks since the charges were unveiled, what has happened to repeal a bill that even a prime co-sponsor, state Rep. Jamie Callender, a Lake County Republican, acknowledges is tainted and in need of replacement?

In terms of an outcome, not one thing.

A new study committee was set up and has held hearings on HB 6 repeal bills but adjourned until after the election. And it’s unclear whether new House Speaker Robert Cupp, a Lima Republican, has the appetite to move on HB 6-related legislation in the lame-duck session. Democrats are collecting signatures on a discharge petition seeking to force a repeal vote on the floor, but do not yet appear to be close to the 50 signatures needed -- with Cupp still controlling when the House is in session.

And where is the drive to do what the legislature should have done last year -- force Energy Harbor, the firm that owns the two Ohio nuclear plants, and its corporate predecessors, FirstEnergy Solutions and Solutions' former corporate parent, FirstEnergy Corp., to provide proof that a bailout is even needed?

This big stall is not what Ohio ratepayers and voters are entitled to expect from the lawmakers they elect and pay. Ohioans want action. Cupp et. al. need to deliver it."

-- Editorial Board, Cleveland.com & The Plain Dealer 

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Please urge your legislators to repeal HB6! Already contacted them? Email again -- and encourage others to do the same -- at repealhb6.com!


Columbus Clean Energy aggregation

Oct 15, 2020 2:48 PM

The City of Columbus is pursuing a community choice aggregation program to meet its goal of providing 100% clean, renewable energy to power residents and small businesses by 2022. Ohio Citizen Action has endorsed this initiative and are urging Columbus voters to vote YES on Issue 1 in the 2020 election!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST8NVpgNWSE&feature=youtu.be

Learn more about community-choice aggregation - Issue 1 on the November 3 ballot


Please print, sign and share

Oct 13, 2020 10:44 AM

Tell our state's leaders that you want a clean repeal NOW. Just cosponsoring a bill is not enough, we need action.

Help us spread the word. Print this flyer to make your own sign about why you want HB6 repealed. Then take a pic with you holding the sign, and share on your social media channels with the hashtag #RepealHB6. Urge others to do the same, and speak their minds using the downloadable sign at this link:

https://www.ohiocitizen.org/iwant2reapealhb6

Please tag your representative in the post on social media. You can check who your legislators are here.

 

 


Latest challenge raises question of reopening FirstEnergy Solutions’ bankruptcy ruling

Oct 09, 2020 9:52 PM

Photo by Warren LeMay / Creative Commons

The Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"The Environmental Law & Policy Center, Environmental Defense Fund, Ohio Citizen Action, and the Ohio Environmental Council want the judge to consider suspending execution of the reorganization plan that was confirmed earlier this year. The groups also hope the bankruptcy court will consider if it should revise that confirmation order and conduct additional hearings. The groups filed the motion on Oct. 5.

'We’re asking the 6th Circuit to deal with these truly extraordinary circumstances,' in which federal and state corruption charges relate directly to assets involved in the bankruptcy case, said Howard Learner, executive director at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Among other things, Ohio House Bill 6 authorizes roughly $1 billion in subsidies over the next six years for two nuclear plants owned by Energy Harbor, formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions.

The federal and state cases allege that an unlawful conspiracy used dark money organizations to hide the source of spending from FirstEnergy (known as “Company A” in some documents), its current and former affiliates, and others in order to secure passage of HB 6 and to prevent a referendum on the law.

'The remedy that we’re asking in the 6th Circuit complements what the Ohio attorney general has already asked for it its lawsuit,' Learner said. As he sees it, that case effectively asks the state court to 'rescramble the eggs' and undo the reorganization."

-- Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

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Please urge your legislators to repeal HB6! Already contacted them? Email again -- and encourage others to do the same -- at repealhb6.com!


Here’s why Ohio lawmakers haven’t done anything about scandal-tainted House Bill 6 so far

Oct 09, 2020 6:28 PM

"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 

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Please urge your legislators to repeal HB6! Already contacted them? Email again -- and encourage others to do the same -- at repealhb6.com!


Cupp collecting campaign cash instead of repealing HB 6

Oct 09, 2020 1:18 PM

House Speaker Bob Cupp and Energy Committee Chairman Jim Hoops announced that they have no more meetings planned to discuss the repeal of House Bill 6.

But they did have time for a fundraiser together on Tuesday:

This tone-deaf action of hosting a fundraiser rather than doing their jobs proves they are not listening to their constituents, so we decided to take action.

We parked this digital billboard in Columbus next to Germania at 543 S. Front Street for the duration of the fundraiser.

Eighty percent of Ohioans want HB 6 repealed and yet Speaker Cupp and Rep. Hoops have time to collect campaign cash, but do not have time to take action on the most corrupt piece of legislation in Ohio’s history.

It's time that we repeal HB 6 once and for all. Tell our state leaders what you think at repealhb6.com.


Editorial: Vote for police review, clean power, ADAMH levy

Oct 08, 2020 5:05 PM

Editorial: Rising COVID deaths add to Ohio public health ills

"The other citywide question before Columbus voters, Issue 1, seeks approval of a charter amendment to pool the purchase of electric power through AEP Energy for 15 years with the understanding that it would secure 100% clean energy from local wind and solar projects by 2022. Even if the issue is approved, individual consumers could opt out of the aggregation and choose their own power supplier.

Electric power aggregation is a growing strategy for municipalities to offer their residents lower rates through economies of scale. A similar issue is on the ballot for Grove City residents, and Worthington already has electric power aggregation. 

Even better is the goal set in the aggregation proposal for AEP Energy to provide power from clean energy sources in the future. With the state and federal governments pulling back from environmentally friendly energy policies, municipalities are right to adopt green energy programs of their own.

There is no cost to taxpayers for aggregating electric power in one provider."

The Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board 

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My Generation is the Future

Oct 08, 2020 12:27 PM

My first time voting was in the 2016 presidential election and I was 18 years old. I remember my mom taking me to the polls and voting alongside me. I also remember questioning why I was the youngest person in the building, maybe it was just a coincidence. However, after seeing the turn-out for 18-25 year olds, I questioned why more young people did not vote. My generation is the future of our country and taking politics seriously and educating yourself on the issue is of utmost importance. As I got older, I continually had discussions with friends and family  about politics, but when I asked them if they voted, the response was almost always no. Our government works best when all the people participate and in college, I started to join groups that encouraged young voters to register to vote and get to the polls. 
When I heard about the shortage of poll workers this year, due to the pandemic, there was no question, I had to do my civil duty and volunteer. For me, working at the polls is not only a great opportunity, but an honor. I know I will have a positive impact on having a fair election and keeping the most vulnerable people in my community safe. I hope to set an example for other 18-25 year olds by working at the polls this year by simply showing up and helping my community in this unprecedented time. I am excited to see my fellow Geauga County voters of all ages cast their vote on November 3rd! 
Sophie Kocheff 
Senior Field Organizer, Ohio Citizen Action