News and Analysis
Study: Energy Sector’s Emissions Set to Decline FurtherMarch 24, 2023
By 2030, CO2 emissions from the U.S. energy sector will drop 25% to 38% below 2005 levels, according to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The lower emissions are tied to increased electrification, higher efficiency, and renewables deployment in the electric power sector. 3/21/2023
Ohioans Still Paying for House Bill 6March 17, 2023
Nearly three years after key provisions of House Bill 6 were repealed, aspects of the scandal-ridden law remain on the books. This story by The Columbus Dispatch examines the financial consequences of HB 6 and its impact on electric customers.
HB 6’s OVEC subsidy is costing AEP, AES, and Duke customers more than $130,300 a day, according to the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. 3/14/2023
Judge OKs Restart of Ohio’s HB 6 Civil SuitMarch 17, 2023
Following the March 9 conviction of former Speaker Larry Householder, a Franklin County judge has lifted the stay of the state’s civil lawsuit against FirstEnergy and a number of other parties tied to House Bill 6 activity.
Late last week, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called for the stay to be lifted. In his press release, Yost expressed confidence the state could claw back the “ill-gotten gains” of former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo.
There are other ongoing investigations tied to HB 6, including four PUCO investigations, as reported by The Plain Dealer. The Ohio Press Network has also published this story on what’s next in HB 6-related developments. 3/13/2023
U.S. House GOP Unveils Permitting Reform BillMarch 17, 2023
On Capitol Hill, U.S. House Republicans have introduced their top-priority legislation: a major energy package to boost U.S. energy security and reform the permitting process, according to reports. The National Association of Manufacturers says its time to modernize “burdensome permitting processes.” 3/15/2023
Trial Exposed House Bill 6’s Consumer CostsMarch 10, 2023
The trial of former Speaker Larry Householder not only spotlighted the scheme used to pass House Bill 6, it also highlighted the costs that HB 6 aimed to impose on consumers, including a “decoupling” charge to protect FirstEnergy. The Ohio Capital Journal reports the details.
Immediately following HB 6’s introduction in 2019, the OMA announced its opposition to the bill and frequently highlighted the reasons why HB 6 would be detrimental to manufacturers and the state’s competitiveness. 3/6/2023
Vistra to Purchase Energy Harbor Nuclear PlantsMarch 10, 2023
Providing more evidence that free markets work, OMA Connections Partner Vistra has announced it will acquire Akron-based Energy Harbor — the former FirstEnergy subsidiary and owner of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. Vistra also announced it will add about 4,000 megawatts of zero-carbon capacity through the deal.
This development comes two years after the repeal of House Bill 6’s ratepayer-funded subsidy scheme for the nuclear plants — supporting the arguments of HB 6 critics who said the subsidies were unnecessary. 3/6/2023
U.S. Power Use Expected to Dip in 2023March 10, 2023
U.S. power consumption is predicted to decline this year from its record-high in 2022 amid slower economic growth and milder weather, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. U.S. dependence on natural gas for power reliance is expected to remain unchanged, with the supply still making up 39% of the total energy mix in 2023. 3/9/2023
Record Low for U.S. Interstate Gas Pipeline AdditionsMarch 10, 2023
An unsettling report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that in 2022, the least interstate natural gas pipeline capacity was added since data collection started in 1995. According to the EIA, interstate capacity additions were low in 2022 for two primary reasons: more growth in intrastate capacity, and less overall capital expenditures by oil and natural gas companies. 3/6/2023
Honda Breaks Ground on EV Battery PlantMarch 3, 2023
OMA staff attended this week’s groundbreaking in Fayette County, the location of OMA member Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solution’s electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility. The site is roughly the size of 80 football fields.
Mass production at the new facility is expected to begin in 2025. It’s one of several world-class EV-related projects, as illustrated by this OMA infographic. 2/28/2023
Householder Trial Nears ConclusionMarch 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