Energy donors still cashing in millions on HB6 corruption. Consumer paid subsidies end up in legislators' pockets.

The Cincinnati Post

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Ohio consumers pay out nearly $200 million in HB 6 corrupt legislative bail outs for "Clean Coal"Adapted from Ohio Consumer Council, 2022

The Ohio Consumer Council released information this week on who-got-what from the remnants of the corruption-laden HB 6. One thing's for sure - Ohio consumers got the shaft. The coal shaft, that is. We paid out nearly $200 million in subsidies in just the 2 years since HB 6 was passed to OVEC through fees tacked on to our electric bills. The sole purpose of the subsidies is to keep 2 obsolete, coal-fired energy plants open and eligible for publicly financed subsidies in order to generate hundreds of thousands in revenue to be distributed to shareholders and to be kicked back in donations that benefit politicians - not consumers.
It's Pay-to-Play --- on steroids.
Neal Clark, one of 4 indicted in the First Energy scandal who later committed suicide, explained how Pay-to-Play works in the energy sector that was disclosed in the Householder indictment, "First Energy got $1.3 billion in subsidies, free payments... so what do they care about putting in $20 million for this thing (campaign donations), they don't give a shit."
They really don't. Neither do the politicians who are still raking in the donations.

Dustin Tomlinson of the Ohio News Time, writes that it will take a lot more than a "bribery scandal on a historic scale" to get energy money out of the political "pipeline". He claims that, despite the scandal, "AEP donated $60,500, ... Buckeye Power has donated $41,200, ... Duke Energy has donated $21,000, ... (and) AES Ohio, has donated $10,000" in just the first half of 2021. (First Energy was prohibited from making donations under their deferred prosecution agreement.)

The campaign donations just keep rolling in from the power brokers while Ohioans are fleeced. Yet, despite scandal after scandal, Ohioans re-elect those very politicians picking their pockets, just like they did when Householder was re-elected shortly after his indictment.

They operate with impunity.

Clark goes on to tout the scheme on the secret recordings cited in the indictment of Householder:

[T]hose guys that go to the wall can only do it once a year because if they do it all the time everybody knows they're pay to play"

Neil Waggoner, with the Sierra Club, summed it up in a quote in Ohio Capital News last week:

Why the hell is this still in place? ...This is the utilities in this state having a death grip on the regulators and people in power to the point that they’re getting exactly what they want.”
However, Ohioans do get 1 thing from the OVEC arrangement - pollution. A lot more pollution.
While the Clifty Creek plant in Madison, Indiana provides no jobs for Ohioans, no tax revenues, and no reduction in energy costs, Ohioans suck up the pollution that blows through Southwest Hamilton County.
According to Jake Zuckerman of Capital News,
"Ohio consumers are subsidizing plants that have belched nearly 21 million tons of carbon dioxide, 21,000 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 12,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere since January 2020, plus smaller discharges of arsenic, lead, and mercury, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided by the OCC."
Meanwhile, energy companies and politicians divvy up our hard-earned money.
State Representative Bill Seitz and now-State Senator Lou "Bill" Blessing worked for years to earn campaign donations for pay-to-play schemes like Pay Day Lending, Charter Schools, and the OVEC subsidies. They were quite the team for nearly a decade before Householder wanted a cut. Blessing, Chair of the Government Accountability Committee, and Seitz controlled the legislators for hire scam.
When Householder combined the Pay-to-Play scheme of the old guard Republicans pertaining to OVEC with the First Energy bailout scheme of his, Seitz was completely on board. An interview with State Representative Bill Seitz, Majority Leader of the House, with Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland.com, sounds more like a conspiracy confession than a defense of his actions regarding First Energy and OVEC:
The genius of Householder was, ‘To hell with that – let’s do it all in one bill,’” Seitz said. “And I said, ‘Well, that’s fine with me.’

Seitz and Householder were two ends playing the same Pay-to-Play campaign-funding instrument. Instead of competing for which legislation would move forward, they set it up that Ohio Republicans would win regardless. Since Householder's indictment, he has had no greater ally than Bill Seitz. Afterall, Householder brought the old guard Republicans in on the ride. When the removal of Householder from office was finally imminent, Seitz got into a rancorous screaming match at a Columbus bar where Andrew Tobias, at Cleveland.com, documented a witness who said,

“He [Seitz] said, I’m going to take all you mother f-----s out if you vote to remove Householder,”

There is no longer a nuclear operation in Portsmouth needing the two coal plants. They have outlived their purpose - literally. Yet, statehouse officials and the energy sector are intent on keeping them operational. Not for the power they offer to Ohioans, but for the financial and political power they produce. They are moneymakers - even if obsolete. Profitable, even if losing money hand over fist.

It's just a question of who is making the money and who is losing it.

The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee introduced a bill to rescind the OVEC provisions in HB 6, as recently as in late September. However, the committee has refused to bring it forth for even a vote. Bill Seitz sits on the committee.

We’ve beat this horse to death. It’s not going to change,” said Seitz.

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