For Immediate Release: December 3, 2013
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
Sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), SB 58 would gut Ohio’s existing energy efficiency and renewable energy laws, and could receive a Senate vote as early as tomorrow. It is opposed by a broad coalition of business, environmental and consumer groups, including the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), the Ohio AARP, and the Ohio Office of Consumers’ Counsel.
The OMA characterizes the bill as a “huge giveaway” to electric utilities — which a study from Ohio State University estimates would be nearly $4 billion over the next 12 years. The OSU study also projects that nearly 6,500 fewer Ohio jobs would be created if SB 58 is enacted. Meanwhile, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel estimates that passage of SB 58 “could cause “4 million Ohio households to pay an additional $528 for their electric bills.”
According to the IO analysis:
Said IO President Janetta King: “Nobody wants to believe Ohio legislators can be bought. Nobody wants to think the Ohio General Assembly would put the interests of utility companies over the interests of consumers. And certainly no one wants to contemplate losing 6,500 jobs at a time when Ohio ranks a dismal 44th in the nation in new job creation. But we’ll find out when Senate Bill 58 comes up for a vote.
“It defies belief that First Energy and the other utilities are handing out millions in campaign contributions simply to support ‘good government.’ If that were the goal, they wouldn’t be concentrating their largesse on the legislators who are best positioned to pass a law that will put an extra $4 billion in their corporate pockets.
“The bottom line is that if the utilities win, Ohio consumers lose.
“So the question is simple: whose side is the General Assembly on? Will they stand up for the people they were elected to represent? Or will they roll over for the utilities that are filling their campaign coffers?”
View the report: Rate of Return: What Will Ohio’s Utilities Get for Campaign Cash?