Energy / Renewable Energy

Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) should be removed as Co-chair of House Energy Generation Subcommittee

On March 21,2019 I wrote to Speaker Larry Householder on behalf of Ohio Citizen Action and its 32,000 members asking to remove Representative Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) as Co-chairman of the Ohio House Subcommittee on Energy Generation.

As an organization with a strong commitment to in-state, clean, renewable energy sources such as wind, Ohio Citizen Action found the Representative’s recent opinion piece in the Norwalk Reflector to be ill-informed, disturbing, and disqualifying.

Stein is entitled to embrace anti-wind energy zealotry if he chooses. But his singling-out one particular generation technology for biased, public political attacks disqualifies him from serving as Co-chairman of a bipartisan committee specifically created to foster inclusive energy discussion. And now, before his committee has even got up to speed, Co-chairman Stein’s public potshots at renewable energy defeat the very purpose for which it was formed.

Unfortunately, and inexplicably, Stein seems intent on rendering the subcommittee just another forum for tired, unproductive and at times specious arguments pitting one energy source versus another. While he may think it scores him political points, it has shredded his credibility and is bad for Ohio.

Ironically, as Co-chairman Stein kicked off the committee’s first hearing, he specifically instructed witnesses not to “bash” other forms of electric generation. To date, every party has respected this rule–except Stein himself.  Meanwhile, Stein’s official web page touts that he recently introduced legislation to support nuclear energy. He is clearly an energy partisan.

Ohio Citizen Action respects that the Energy Generation Subcommittee was formed to invite open energy dialogue and perhaps lead Ohio to a real “all of the above” energy policy, including renewables. We hope Speaker Householder will agree that Rep. Stein is unfit to lead that effort and we request that he is removed as Co-chairman.

— Rachael Belz, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action

My letter to Speaker Householder (pdf)