News and Analysis
The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which represents residential ratepayers, says local transmission projects lack regulatory oversight and should be reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Utility Dive reports that the OCC’s complaint is tied to electric utilities’ nearly $6.5 billion in PJM Interconnection-approved “supplemental projects” since 2017. The projects have been OK’d without any oversight of their need, prudence, or cost-effectiveness, the OCC says — adding that PJM assumes the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio reviews the projects, but it doesn’t. 10/4/2023
The Ohio House is considering legislation to bar local governments from restricting the use or sale of gasoline- or diesel-powered motor vehicles.
House Bill 201, which awaits debate by the full House, would also prohibit state agencies from adopting motor vehicle energy standards established by California, which is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035. This Gongwer News Service article highlights arguments made for and against HB 201.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) has introduced legislation to end more than $100 million in EV incentives and redirect them to gas- or diesel-powered autos built in the U.S. 10/4/2023
The National Public Radio Network recently aired a discussion on the proposed Oak Run Solar Project in Madison County. If approved, the solar farm would be one of the largest solar farms in the U.S. and would test the dual use of land for solar panels and agriculture. 10/3/2023
A meeting was held Sept. 25 in Columbus to discuss Ohio’s planned distribution of $140 million through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. Read Gongwer News Service’s story.
State officials recently announced the initial $18 million award to install 27 EV charging stations along interstate corridors. 9/27/2023
On Capitol Hill, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to impose a federal fee on electric vehicle sales to boost revenues for the Highway Trust Fund.
The bill, offered by U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), would mandate a $1,000 fee on EVs at the point of sale and a $550 fee on batteries that are more than 1,000 pounds at the point of manufacture, reports say. 9/28/2023
As previously reported, Senate Bill 143 is OMA-supported legislation to implement a clean repeal of Ohio’s electric security plans (ESPs) to help reduce electricity costs and increase consumer protections.
However, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), said this week he has low expectations that either SB 143 or separate legislation to repeal rate-payer funded subsidies for OVEC’s coal plants will be seriously considered by the full legislature “unless there’s another shoe to drop” — referring to the FirstEnergy scandal.
Sen. Romanchuk said the culture in the Statehouse has been slow to change even after the House Bill 6-related convictions of ex-speaker Larry Householder and lobbyist Matt Borges. Read more on Sen. Romanchuk’s comments as reported by Gongwer News Service. 9/20/2023
This week, the U.S. average for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline neared $3.90. Here are the current average prices in all 88 Ohio counties, according to AAA.
Prices at the pump could be a key issue in the next presidential election. Axios reports Saudi Arabia’s extension of oil production cuts will ensure that energy prices will become an election 2024 issue. 9/20/2023
The second annual Ohio Manufacturers’ Energy Conference was held Sept. 13 at Westerville’s Quest Conference Center. The event drew more than 220 attendees and covered numerous energy-related topics critical to manufacturers.
The conference featured dozens of presenters, including Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who spoke about the need for a national energy policy; Cleveland-Cliffs President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves, who discussed his company’s efforts to expand America’s steel manufacturing capacity using clean energy; and Rick Riggle, COO of L-H Battery Co. (LG Energy Solution and Honda), who provided details about the EV battery facility being built by Honda and LG Energy Solution in Fayette County.
Crain’s Cleveland Business published this story on Goncalves’ presentation, while Hannah News Service published this report on the energy policy discussion — one of multiple breakout sessions at the conference.
Last week, the OMA hosted a policy briefing on Senate Bill 143, legislation that would implement a clean repeal of Ohio’s electric security plans (ESPs). This OMA-supported legislation would help reduce manufacturers’ electricity costs, increase consumer protections, and allow for more market-based competition.
SB 143, introduced by Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) — a manufacturing business owner — has been referred to committee as the Senate returned to action this week.
Politico reports that a growing number of cybersecurity and physical attacks on the U.S. power grid has alarmed experts who say communication gaps between law enforcement and regulators have left leaders in the dark about the extent of the threats. During Q1 of this year, utilities reported 60 incidents they said were physical threats or attacks on major grid infrastructure, in addition to two cyberattacks. 9/11/2023