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News and Analysis

Householder Trial Nears Conclusion

March 3, 2023

This week, the federal government rested its case at the trial of former Speaker Larry Householder, after presenting jurors with documents, emails, texts, wire-tap audio, and witness accounts of what prosecutors allege was a $60 million bribery scheme to pass the scandal-ridden House Bill 6. Householder himself took the stand March 1. A decision from the jury is expected soon.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Capital Journal has published this analysis of the possible role played by some PUCO staff members in the crafting of HB 6.

The OMA Government Affairs Committee meeting, set for Wednesday, March 8, will feature expert analysis of the trial and its potential impact on Ohio policymaking. Register here. 3/2/2023

Experts: Derailments Highlight Need for Line 5

March 3, 2023

As Michigan officials continue efforts to shut down the oil and natural gas pipeline known as Line 5, economists say its closure would mean moving more petroleum products by tanker truck and rail, which would negatively affect prices, emissions, and safety.

Studies show if Line 5 were no longer operational, Ohio would bear the brunt of roughly $20.8 billion in economic losses. The OMA is on record in support of the pipeline. 2/28/2023

House Energy Leader Addresses OMA Energy Committee

February 24, 2023

On Feb. 22, the OMA Energy Committee held its Q1 meeting, sponsored by OMA Connections Partners Carpenter Lipps LLP, Columbia Gas of Ohio, and DT Midstream. More than 90 members attended either in person or online. Highlights included:

  • A visit with Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk), chair of the House Public Utilities Committee;
  • The energy engineer report by RunnerStone LLC, which examined federal incentives to boost energy efficiency and use of renewable energy by manufacturers; and
  • Presentations by Matt Cybulski of JobsOhio and Jeff Reed of American Honda Motor Co. on the potential to expand the use of hydrogen in manufacturing.

The Energy Committee is slated to meet again May 18. The OMA will hold its Ohio Manufacturers’ Energy Conference on Sept. 13 at the Quest Conference Center in Westerville. Registration details will be forthcoming. 2/22/2023

Made-in-Ohio Solar Technology Set for Growth

February 24, 2023

A type of solar panel pioneered in Ohio is poised to benefit from technological advances, supply chain politics, and new federal incentives. Energy News Network reports that cadmium telluride solar is a proven technology and currently supplies about 40% of the U.S. utility-scale market. 2/22/2023

Visualizing China’s Dominance in Battery Manufacturing

February 24, 2023

China controls more than 75% of global lithium-ion manufacturing capacity, according to this infographic by Visual Capitalist — and it is expected to maintain that level of dominance for the near future.

A public-private alliance representing the U.S. battery ecosystem has issued an action plan to expand domestic battery manufacturing and supply chains, reports say. 2/21/2023

OMA Energy Committee Set to Meet Feb. 22

February 17, 2023

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the OMA Energy Committee will host its first meeting of the year, with in-person and virtual attendance options. Register here.

Among other things, members will hear from Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk), chair of the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee; Matt Cybulski, managing director of shale energy and petrochemicals at JobsOhio; and Jeff Reed of American Honda Motor Co. regarding Honda’s hydrogen plans.

See the 2023 meeting dates for all OMA policy committees, and check out the OMA’s updated “Competitiveness Agenda,” which outlines the association’s broader policy priorities. 2/13/2023

HB 6 Householder Trial Update

February 17, 2023

Four weeks into the House Bill 6-related trial of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former FirstEnergy lobbyist Matt Borges, here are some of the latest developments:

  • An FBI agent detailed how Householder personally netted more than $500,000 from an alleged bribery scheme involving FirstEnergy.
  • Prosecutors said FirstEnergy lobbyist Juan Cespedes, who has already pleaded guilty, was a key middleman in the scheme to “sell the Statehouse.”
  • Cespedes testified that he and Borges offered $15,000 as a bribe to get information from the HB 6 repeal campaign, and that officials at FirstEnergy were aware of the plan.
  • In a recorded conversation from 2019, Borges told an FBI informant, “It would be bad for both of us if the story came out. But it would be worse for you.”

Meanwhile, WKYC TV in Cleveland recently ran this half-hour special to breakdown the HB 6 scandal. The broadcast includes insight from John Seryak, the OMA’s energy engineer and president of RunnerStone LLC. 2/16/2023

DeWine Picks PUCO Staffer for Open Commission Seat

February 10, 2023

Gov. Mike DeWine has picked John Williams to fill the vacancy at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. A political independent, Williams has held several senior roles at the PUCO. Pending approval by the Ohio Senate, Williams will succeed outgoing Commissioner Beth Trombold, another former PUCO staffer, who will step down Feb. 10.

Here’s the governor’s news release on the nomination. 2/6/2023

Honda Outlines Hydrogen Plans

February 10, 2023

OMA member Honda Motor Co., Ohio’s largest manufacturing employer, recently announced it will expand its use of hydrogen throughout its business. The company is planning a new fuel cell vehicle for sale next year, featuring a fuel cell stack developed with General Motors. By 2030, costs of these fuel cells will become comparable with diesel engines, company officials say.

Here are a summary and infographics outlining Honda’s hydrogen plans. 2/6/2023

Cost of Preparing the Grid for More Renewables

February 10, 2023

States that have set renewable energy mandates will need to enhance their power grid, according to this story published by Pew’s Stateline. Recent analysis concludes that reaching 100% renewable electricity generation nationwide will require adding 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines — doubling the existing total — at a cost of $700 billion, according to the article. 2/7/2023