Lame duck top priority: Repeal House Bill 6
COLUMBUS -- "U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers has made clear that additional charges may be coming and could involve FirstEnergy. That’s the most direct reason to repeal HB 6 before ratepayers begin paying for the bailout as scheduled in January.
The financial industry is concerned about FirstEnergy’s integrity; on Friday, S&P Global Ratings agency downgraded the company’s rating by two levels, to BB+, based on the firing of Jones and what FirstEnergy’s internal review found. 'We view the severity of these violations at the highest level within the company as demonstrative of insufficient internal controls and cultural weakness,' the ratings company said, adding that the violations were 'significantly outside' industry norms.
Why should Ohio ratepayers be on the hook to bail such a company out until allegations are aired and resolved?
Just as important, what HB 6 does beyond the bailout is terrible energy policy. Ohio already does foolishly little to invest in a clean-energy economy that could revitalize manufacturing and make the state a leader in fighting climate change. HB 6 essentially cancels Ohio’s few remaining clean-energy incentives, putting the state in an even weaker position."
-- editorial, Columbus Dispatch