LFC Comments: Thanks to our team for finding this article by the Energy and Policy Institute. E & P did some great research and have provided interesting information about House Bill 6, and the local officials that supported it by testifying in Columbus.
If an advocate really believed in an issue, one would think that they could develop their own testimony. It appears that they allowed themselves to be puppets of First Energy.
Excerpts from the article:
“Emails and documents obtained through public records requests filed by the Energy and Policy Institute reveal in new detail how FirstEnergy Corp. and its bankrupt subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) provided much of the written testimony delivered earlier this year by several public officials who supported HB 6 in the Ohio House and Senate. ”
“Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino, [LFC Comment: Be sure to click on the Jerry Cirino link] and Perry Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Thompson received draft testimony from members of FirstEnergy’s external affairs team or the utility’s army of political consultants. The officials were all early members of the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance (OCEJA), the FirstEnergy-backed coalition that supported HB 6.”
LFC Comments: It is interesting that this man wants to be our State Senator. Betsy Rader, his Democrat opponent, will be “making hay” with this millstone around his neck.
Upon reviewing the campaign finance reports for Mr. Cirino, we noticed that Mr. Cirino received a $5,000.00 campaign contribution from First Energy PAC on March 31, 2020. Look for him to “donate” the $5,000 to a worthy cause.
When this issue was first brought to our attention, we were also concerned about the impact of the loss of the nuclear plants on Lake County’s economy (just as Cirino and Jamie Callender, State Representative District 61, were ). However, during meetings we attended we could not get clear, concise reasons why this bill was in the best interest of the taxpayers. At that time, we decided that something was amiss.
Since Commissioner Cirino and Representative Callender both stated that saving Lake County jobs was paramount to them, is it reasonable to ask if they were duped by First Energy. Is it also reasonable to ask if they should have known better.
LFC does not support bailing out companies that drive themselves out of business. The concept of businesses “to big to fail” does not resonate with us since it promotes inefficiencies and corruption.
The energy business is really complicated. We found an interesting article about why the energy industries were deregulated. It was thought that bringing competition into the mix, rather than having regulated monopolies, would drive prices down for consumers.
What we do understand is that the generation side of the business (nuclear power plants in Ohio) was split from the distribution side of the business. Perhaps it is an unintended consequence, but the generation side of the business loses money and requires taxpayers’ subsidies to survive. However, the distribution company is very profitable, and is able to pay their executives seven (7) figure annual incomes.
Perhaps that needs to be addressed by our Federal and State officials, and merging both entities may be in the best, long-term interests of the taxpayers.