In our previous post, we discussed the controversy surrounding Ohio House Bill 6 itself. Today, we will explore the importance of ethics in energy.
Ohio House Bill 6: A Recap
FirstEnergy, now known as Energy Harbor following a bankruptcy and rebranding earlier this year, owns two nuclear power plants in Ohio. One is the Davis-Besse Plant in Port Clinton, and the other is the Perry Nuclear Plant in Perry. In July 2019, a bill was passed by Ohio legislatures known as Ohio House Bill 6, which provided a $1 billion, citizen-funded bailout for both nuclear plants, as well as two coal plants, paid out from 2021-2027. HB6 was met with harsh criticism, but despite this, lawmakers ratified the bill.
On July 21st, federal officials arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others after a two-year bribery & racketeering investigation. The others charged in the case include former Ohio Republican Party Chair-turned-consultant Matt Borges, prominent lobbyist Neil Clark, Energy Harbor (formerly FirstEnergy Solutions) lobbyist Juan Cespedes, and Householder aide Jeff Longstreth. Generation Now has also been listed as a defendant in the case. Generation Now, a 501(c)(3) funded by Energy Harbor (FirstEnergy), is accused of using dark money regarding HB6. The case alleges that Householder and others received $60 million in bribes to push Ohio House Bill 6 through to law.
Corruption Is More Common Than People Think
The situation regarding Householder has shone a light on a troublesome issue: some private utility companies are bribing politicians to be in their favor, and it often has to do with stopping cleaner energy policies. Earlier this month, the Illinois utility ComEd, a subsidy of Exelon, admitted to bribing officials and agreed to pay a $200 million fine. In 2014, Arizona Public Service participated in funneling dark money to push its agenda. Sadly, this kind of situation is more common than what the public may know.
It is imperative that utility companies, as well as politicians, act in ethical, transparent ways. Not only regarding the current criminal situations of bribery and money laundering but regarding day-to-day operations. Many companies, governments, and regulations are deeply rooted in their beginnings when fossil fuels were the only fuels available. As science & technology have progressed over time, we are no longer limited to unsustainable fuel sources that damage the environment and put future generations in jeopardy. Supporting ethics in energy is important not only for the time being, but for the future, as well.
What Can Be Done?
We’ve previously discussed the importance of clean energy and the impact it has on the environment. Energy should be clean, sustainable, ethical, and accessible to help both the planet and the people living on it. Being aware of where citizens receive energy is a great first step towards supporting ethics in energy. Trebel is able to assist local governments with negotiating and securing renewable resources for their energy needs. Our focus on transparency ensures that we only work with ethical suppliers to provide energy to communities. We also have green energy expertise and networking to help a community reach 100% renewable energy (or a percentage of renewable energy) at a great price. Contact us today to see how we can help!