News and Analysis
Experts: Derailments Highlight Need for Line 5March 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 CommitteeFebruary 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 GrowthFebruary 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 ManufacturingFebruary 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. 22February 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 UpdateFebruary 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 SeatFebruary 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 PlansFebruary 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 RenewablesFebruary 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
Eaton Helps Develop Microgrid for ColumbusFebruary 10, 2023
OMA member Eaton is helping AEP Ohio develop a microgrid to support Columbus’ water infrastructure. According to Eaton’s news release, the project will establish the city’s first renewable energy microgrid and extend Columbus’ ability to deliver safe and clean water during extended power outages. The microgrid is expected to be online in Q1 2023. 2/6/2023