Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Opinion | Dark money made Ohio’s energy policies among the most backward

Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) once joked about massive subsidies to already filthy-rich energy industries that Adam Smith was spinning so fast in his grave he could be hooked up to the electric grid and qualify for production tax credits. But calling natural gas and nuclear power “clean” and “green” has George Orwell spinning pretty fast as well [“Dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green’,” news, Jan. 18].

Right-wing dark-money groups have made Ohio’s energy policies among the most benighted and backward in the country.

Take 2019’s House Bill 6 scandal. An alleged bribe for bailout, it was described by the prosecuting U.S. attorney in 2021 as the state’s largest racketeering conspiracy in history. Sixty-one million dollars in dark money, funneled through then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R), netted more than $1 billion in state ratepayer bailouts for FirstEnergy’s dangerously age-degraded atomic reactors and dirty old coal plants. The legislature approved and Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed it, even though the bill also worsened Ohio’s ongoing sabotage of its tremendous potential for renewable energy, such as wind and solar power and efficiency.

Something is rotten in Ohio. A dark age of dark money has descended on its energy policy.

The writer is a radioactive waste specialist at Beyond Nuclear and a board member of Don’t Waste Michigan.

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