Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy

Advocates say industrial lobbyists play outsized role in blocking Ohio clean energy

COLUMBUS —”Ohio lawmakers may be relying upon an industrial energy lobbying group more than they should, a watchdog group suggests after reviewing emails between lobbyists and legislators.

Industrial Energy Users-Ohio is an organization made up mostly of large manufacturers that has opposed expanding the state’s clean energy standards in recent years. The group wants more opportunities for customers ‘to control their own destiny… rather than having central planning and government mandating things,’ said chief counsel and lobbyist Sam Randazzo, when asked last month about the group’s priorities for this legislative session. ‘And that manifests itself in a variety of ways, whether we’re talking about portfolio mandates or re-regulation or whatever.’

…As someone representing a client, he would not have been acting improperly in responding to a lawmaker’s request for input. Yet while representatives of FirstEnergy, American Electric Power and Duke Energy were also copied on the Aug. 18, 2015 message, no members of environmental groups or from the solar or wind industry were copied on the email.

When the lawmakers’report came out six weeks later, it recommended an indefinite suspension of the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards without any discussion of the benefits for health, the environment or business.”

— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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