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Government & Politics

Environmental Groups Oppose DeWine's PUCO Pick

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SERGEY EDENTOD, JAMES KELLEY, DAVID GAYLOR, ANDY CHOW
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SHUTTERSTOCK/STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio oversees all power making industries in the state.

Environmental groups are opposing Gov. Mike DeWine’s appointment to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. DeWine picked Sam Randazzo to serve, and eventually chair the state regulation panel.

The groups are concerned with Randazzo’s past opposition to renewable energy issues.

Sam Randazzo recently retired from representing Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, with members such as Marathon Gas and McDonald’s franchises.

Heather Taylor-Miesle with the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund said Randazzo spent his career fighting against renewable energy.

"We need someone who’s a visionary, someone who really understands not just what Ohio’s like today but what Ohio needs to be in the future to stay competitive," Taylor-Miesle said. 

Randazzo, on behalf of Industrial Energy Users-Ohio, consistently opposed proposals that resulted in increases for ratepayers. That meant opposing renewable energy standards. It also meant opposing a cost recovery plan for coal plants.

DeWine's appointment is subject to Ohio Senate confirmation.