The staff of the Ohio Utilities Board, which sets the customer’s water and electricity rates, “the soft tone and the strength” to explain the relief from the user-funded coal-fired power plants residential and industrial electricity. Asked the auditor who hired to use.
After reviewing a private audit project, Mahila Christopher, a PUCO employee, raised some specific concerns in an email to the auditor in September 2020, obtained through a request for public documents. She specifically pointed out the statement that “keeping the plant running does not appear to be in the best interest of the payer.”
This statement does not appear in the public versions of the audit.
Beginning in 2014, PUCO will approve requests from three utilities, American Electric Power, Duke Energy and Dayton Power and Light Co. (now AES), to bill customers’ monthly bills to “passengers”. The process has started. The coal-fired power plants will be bailed out until 2024. The power company is part of the largest shareholder in a cooperative called the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, which owns the plant. PUCO commissioned an audit, a monitoring mechanism, as part of the transaction.
In 2019, the Ohio General Assembly codified the bailout, extending it to all residential and industrial utility customers statewide and extending it until 2030. House Construction 6. La law is now at the heart of the federal corruption case that resulted in the guilty plea. Lobbyist, powerful political agent, NS Dark Money Nonprofit, When Utility company FirstEnergyCorp .. The former Speaker of the House, who claims his innocence, has been charged with a single extortion. Facts submitted by FirstEnergy for guilty plea The former PUCO bribe chairman is also implicated, although he has not been charged with a crime and claims his innocence.
Since the introduction of HB6 in January 2020, Ohio toll payers have spent $ 166 million to save factories, one in Madison, Indiana and the other in Cheshire, Ohio … commissioned by PUCO ultimately concluded that the plant “costs the customer more than the cost of energy and capacity.
In another email, one of the auditors asked PUCO to remove another statement referring to the conclusion that “the entire OVEC contract is not in the best interest of AEP payers Ohio “.
In the published version of the audit, no such statement appears, although the stated purpose of the audit is “to examine whether AEP Ohio’s actions were in the best interests of its retail payers.”
AEP is the main shareholder of OVEC and owns around 43% of its shares. Duke owns 9%. AES owns 4.9%.
The email states that staff need “PUCO administrator’s final assent” on the “overall tone” of the report. A spokesperson for the committee said they were the personnel supervisors.
PUCO’s email was sent after the first arrest at House Building 6 and before the guilty plea (October 2020). Public disclosure linking the PUCO chair to the scandal (November 2020).
To that end, Christopher requested another check and asked the auditor to lower the “level of detail / detail” regarding the scandal. Specifically, we asked FirstEnergy, Generation Now, a non-profit organization funded and convicted by FirstEnergy, to remove references to the charges against former House Speaker Larry Householder.
The request was clearly noted. Public audits do not mention Householder, Generation Now, or FirstEnergy (as this relates to the company’s role in the scandal).
When FirstEnergy agreed in July to plead guilty with a small plea, the court said it had documented it. PUCO chairman Sam Randazzo paid $ 4.3 million shortly before taking office in exchange for regulatory benefits… Randazzo denied this, saying the payment was legal and stemmed from his work as an advisor for the company.
AEP is associated with scandals through Generation Now, a nonprofit that has pleaded guilty. Generation Now received $ 700,000 from Empowering Ohio’s Economy, a nonprofit organization funded solely by the AEP. Earlier this summer, the company revealed that it had received a subpoena from federal regulators “This relates to company profits from the passage of HB6.”
Email reflects a tendency to be labeled “regulatory prisoners of war” and regulatory bodies created to act for the public good will act for the benefit of the regulated industry. Governor Mike DeWine nevertheless appointed Sam Randazzo as PUCO president. Public protests from conservationists over his many years of work against renewable energy on several sides.
Prior to PUCO, an independent but state-funded institution on behalf of home payers, the Ohio Consumer Advisor obtained an email at the request of the public records. OCC officials cited them as evidence of PUCO’s “regulations favorable to public services”. Testimony before lawmakers in favor of a law abolishing the bailouts of the OVEC.
OCC spokesperson Merrilee Embs expressed anger at the meaning of the email.
“As the state’s consumer advocate, Ohio citizens are disappointed with PUCO’s Email for Utilities (AEP) as part of an audit of subsidy billed to coal-fired power plants “she said. “This situation at PUCO calls for reform, and reform should start with the appointment of a commissioner. It is time to appoint a consumer representative to PUCO.
PUCO spokesman Matt Schilling declined specific questions regarding the case due to pending proceedings and PUCO’s ongoing actions against the audit report.
“There is a pending motion in this case to go to a preliminary hearing, which I expect a decision to be made shortly by an administrative law judge assigned to the case,” he said. he declares.
Originally published by Ohio Capital Journal .. Reprinted here with permission.
Ohio State University regulators make ‘user-friendly’ changes to audit coal-fired power plant bailouts, view email
Source Link Ohio State University Regulators Make ‘User Friendly’ Changes to Audit Coal-Fired Power Plant Bailouts, view email