Sierra Club, AWEA issue statements on Ohio arrests related to clean energy rollback
Yesterday the FBI arrested five
public officials from the Ohio state legislature including the speaker of the house.
The five are accused of accepting bribes to the tune of $60M to help prop up nuclear
power in the state and push for clean energy rollbacks.
In response to the news, the
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)’s Andrew Gohn, Eastern State Affairs
Director, issued the following statement:
“The legislative push to bail
out legacy generation and roll back Ohio’s renewable energy commitments was
always against the will of Ohioans, who overwhelmingly support renewable
energy. It now appears that the passage of this bill was not just against the
will of the people, but also may have involved serious and possibly criminal
impropriety. We call for a full examination of the circumstances surrounding
this attack on clean energy and for Gov. DeWine and the legislature to pause
implementation of HB 6 and ultimately repeal this harmful and regressive
Neil Waggoner, Senior Campaign
Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Ohio, also released a
“The whole process around HB 6
— from its passage through the legislature, to the attempted referendum
campaign — was riddled with red flags. It’s therefore shocking, but not
surprising, that after a campaign around a bill based on lies, greed, and a
complete disregard of facts now involves criminal corruption at the highest
levels of Ohio’s state government.
“The Ohio legislature must
take steps to rebuild public trust, and an immediate necessary first step is to
repeal HB 6.”
This time last year, Sierra Club along with other advocacy groups aggressively resisted HB6 which forces electricity customers to pay more each month to prop up aging uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants, instead of investing in newer and cheaper clean energy projects, while also gutting Ohio’s clean energy and energy efficiency laws. Despite those efforts, the legislation passed with mounting questions and frustration.
Ohio representative Casey Weinstein also responded to the news: