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OMA Energy Meeting Features PUCO Official

December 8, 2023

The OMA Energy Committee this week held its final meeting of 2023, sponsored by AES Ohio, NRG, and Scioto Energy. Highlights included:

  • Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Federal Advocate Sarah Parrot provided an update on recent federal PUCO filings.
  • Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Maureen Willis discussed the agency’s energy policy priorities.
  • The OMA’s energy engineering team, John Seryak and Wyatt Elbin, provided an analysis of Runnerstone’s memo on energy reliability.

The OMA will soon announce its 2024 schedule for all policy committee meetings. Stay tuned. 12/7/2023

Line 5 Tunnel Gets Green Light

December 8, 2023

In a positive development for the Buckeye State, Michigan regulators have approved Enbridge’s plan to build a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for its Line 5 oil pipeline. While Enbridge says it is ready to get to work on the project, a federal environmental review must first be completed.

The OMA is a longtime supporter of Line 5, which runs from Canada to multiple Ohio oil refineries, providing energy resources for many manufacturers. 12/4/2023

EVs Set Sales Records in 2023

December 1, 2023

While electric vehicles are a fast growing segment in the U.S., federal data — illustrated in this infographic — show EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles represented just 1.2% of the 281 million U.S. autos registered as of 2022.

However, according to Cox Automotive, U.S. EV sales (full-battery electric) set another record in Q3 2023 and are expected to surpass 1 million this year. U.S. EV sales are also expected to reach a record 9% of all new sales by year’s end. 11/28/2023

Feds File for Forfeiture of $6.4M Linked to Householder

December 1, 2023

In the ongoing story of Ohio’s House Bill 6 scandal, the U.S. Department of Justice this week filed for the forfeiture of $6.47 million held in two accounts belonging to Partners for Progress, a non-profit controlled by former FirstEnergy executives and lobbyists.

According to reports, the accounts were used to pay millions to Generation Now, the dark money group controlled by former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the corruption scheme.

Meanwhile, as part of its restructuring efforts, FirstEnergy announced it has hired two new senior executives, both of whom spent decades with affiliates of AEP. 11/28/2023

Guidance: Understanding Electricity Pricing

December 1, 2023

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio reports that the statewide average price for electricity spiked 58-88% this year for customers on the default plan, known as the standard service offer. The PUCO also notes that recent electricity wholesale auctions indicate lower future electricity costs due to falling natural gas prices and lower inflation.

Understanding the factors that influence the price of your electricity, and what goes into a pricing offer, can help your business gain a strategic advantage. OMA Connections Partner NRG has published this insight on five benefits of understanding how energy pricing works. 11/28/2023

U.S. Solar Generation Set to Surpass Hydropower

November 21, 2023

The Energy Information Administration forecasts that the U.S. will generate 14% more electricity from solar energy than from hydroelectric facilities in 2024. The EIA’s estimate is driven by continued growth in new utility-scale and small-scale solar facilities. 11/20/2023

House OKs Bill to Protect Sale of ICE Autos

November 17, 2023

On Nov. 15, the Ohio House voted 70-23 to approve House Bill 201, legislation that would prevent state or local governments from restricting the sale of an automobile based on its fuel source.

A pair of GOP legislators sponsored the bill to ensure Ohio doesn’t follow California’s ban on vehicles with internal combustion engines. The bill, which now goes to the Ohio Senate, would also prevent local governments from banning the sale of gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. 11/16/2023

Report: Coal Overpayments Followed $250K Donation to Householder’s Dark Money Group

November 17, 2023

According to a report from the Checks and Balances Project — a watchdog group — a Columbus-based coal company received $12.6 million above market prices to supply one of the 1950s-era coal plants subsidized by Ohio’s 2019 nuclear and coal bailout law.

The 2020 overpayment to Resource Fuels is notable because the company in 2018 donated $250,000 to the dark money group formed by former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who’s now serving a 20-year sentence for his role in the House Bill 6 scandal. Ohio ratepayers subsidized $4.2 million of this overpayment, experts say.

News stories note the watchdog’s report relied heavily on testimony filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio by John Seryak, the OMA’s energy engineer and expert witness for the OMA Energy Group, which is contesting the HB 6 subsidies provided to the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

As reported earlier, the PUCO’s hearing examiners last week struck key parts of Seryak’s testimony, as requested by AEP and Duke. The OMA is appealing the decision. 11/14/2023

Court Orders Randazzo to Produce Key Documents

November 17, 2023

This week, Sam Randazzo, former chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, was ordered by a federal court official to produce records tied to House Bill 6, the law at the center of Ohio’s nuclear-bailout bribery scandal. Read this story published by Ohio Capital Journal.

Randazzo hasn’t been charged with any crime, but Gongwer News Service reports the plaintiffs “for months have sought to claw from Randazzo emails and other records” information that might shed more light on FirstEnergy and its actions. 11/14/2023

Now Available: IRA Resource Center

November 17, 2023

The federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is providing businesses with new incentives to construct clean energy-related assets. Bricker Graydon, the OMA’s general counsel, has published this IRA Resource Center and a cheat sheet to explain the law’s manufacturing production credit. 11/14/2023