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Government & Politics

PUCO Chairman Takes No Side in Testimony on Proposed Energy Bill

A photo of Sam Randazzo
PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo testifies before the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The chair of Ohio’s regulatory authority for electricity stood before a House committee. He discussed the bill that would create a fund that could bailout the state’s two nuclear power plants. The Public Utilities Commission chair says judging the legislation’s pros and cons depends on any given goal.

Sam Randazzo would not say if he’s for or against the bill, which would charge all ratepayers $2.50 to subsidize nuclear power among other non-carbon emitting power generators.

“What is your objective? If you have the objective of reducing CO2 emissions, as I said earlier, the sub bill is much more purposefully directed to that objective,” Randazzo said. 

Environmental groups argue the opposite is true since the bill would get rid of the requirements for utilities to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

But Randazzo said the proposed “clean air” program would create a bigger pool of money compared to the current standards. Randazzo had previously lobbied for industrial energy users, and has been critical of efficiency programs. He told lawmakers he questions the savings they bring and said there’s still room for efficiency in the marketplace if the bill were enacted.