FirstEnergy

Top candidates for Ohio House speaker back bailouts for utilities that back their campaigns

The Capital building in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo By
Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

COLUMBUS — “Larry Householder and Ryan Smith, the two front-runners in the race to replace Cliff Rosenberger as Ohio House speaker, have both signed onto bills that would bail out old and uncompetitive power plants owned by powerful electric utilities that have contributed money to their campaigns.

Smith is a primary sponsor of a bill to bail out two Cold War era coal-fired power plants operated by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC). He has received $35,500 in campaign contributions from political action committees affiliated with utilities that own shares of OVEC since the start of Ohio’s current two-year legislative cycle in 2017.

Documents obtained by the Energy and Policy Institute also show that Smith received a “confidential” draft of the legislation, along with talking points and draft sponsor testimony, from utility lobbyists before the bill was introduced.

Householder is co-sponsoring a bill to bail out two nuclear power plants owned by the now bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions that are currently slated for closure. He has received $12,500 in campaign cash from the FirstEnergy PAC since the start of Ohio’s current two-year legislative cycle in 2017.”

— Dave Anderson, Energy & Policy Institute

read more