Ohio Citizen Action Demands Answers from Governor DeWine

Three months after launch of Crime with DeWine, Governor is still ignoring need for reform

Columbus, OH)—Three months ago, Ohio Citizen Action launched “Crime with DeWine,” a campaign calling on Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted to reject regulated electric utility campaign contributions and spearhead real, concrete reforms at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The campaign has released a new video every Tuesday at 2pm for the last 16 weeks featuring Ohioans from every corner of the state voicing their disappointment in Governor DeWine’s lack of leadership and demanding a response to calls for change. But that response has not come.

Week after week, Ohio ratepayers are submitting videos, making phone calls, sending letters and emails to both Governor DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted telling them to end the culture of corruption where utilities are in control of politics in Ohio.

They are saying that enough is enough. The Governor, however, is saying nothing.

Today, Ohio Citizen Action CEO Rachael Belz issued the next video in the Crime with DeWine campaign series, demanding a response from the DeWine Administration.

“Today, on behalf of thousands of Ohioans who are supporting these efforts, I am calling directly on Governor DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted to give us an answer once and for all,” said Ohio Citizen Action CEO Rachael Belz. “Will you pledge to reject ALL regulated electric utility contributions and stop letting utilities dictate energy policy in this state? If we’ve learned anything from the recent life-threatening power outages, it’s that we cannot wait another day to take control of our energy policy and make sure it works for everyone.”

What has been seen instead are the real-life impacts that come from having no comprehensive energy policy for Ohio. House Bill 6 was bought and paid for by utilities like FirstEnergy and AEP, and it dismantled the state’s successful energy efficiency standards. These standards reduced energy usage and decreased demand. A reduction on electricity demands last week could have helped to ease the burden on AEP’s transmission system, keeping the lights and AC on for more than 200,000 customers during a stifling heatwave. It didn’t have to be this way.  

“We aren’t going away, Governor DeWine. And neither is the stink of corruption around the Ohio Statehouse,” said Belz. “This is your chance. We will be waiting for your answer.”

The Crime with DeWine effort is not tied to any election-related activities or a partisan campaign. Unlike other efforts aimed at unseating the Governor, this grassroots effort specifically asks Governor DeWine and Lt. Gov Husted to act in their current official administration roles to reduce utility corruption and enact real reforms at the PUCO.

-- press release, Rachael Belz, Ohio Citizen Action