I was shocked to read an article in The (Toledo) Blade on Dec 12 listing Sen. Matt Huffman as the recipient of $85,000 in contributions from FirstEnergy Corporation. This revelation was paired with the senator’s “yes” vote on House Bill 6, which consisted of legislation designed to add an additional charge to the electric bills of Ohioans and give it to struggling FirstEnergy Solutions, operator of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, and Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, operator of two coal-burning plants, one in Ohio and one in Indiana!
As clean energy generation has become more cost-competitive with dirty energy alternatives, some old-line companies are feeling the pinch. Good! Anyone concerned with the future and Ohio’s place in it wants clean power generation; the sooner, the better. But HB 6 was a double-whammy: reducing and weakening Ohio’s energy-efficiency benchmarks while using rate-payer money to shore up losers who find they can no longer compete profitably.
If “government shouldn’t pick winners and losers,” then why vote to subsidize losers?
I sent an email query to Senator Huffman asking for an explanation but received no response. I then called his office and spoke to someone, telling them I had received no response to my query. I still have no response. After taking such large contributions from FirstEnergy, one would think the senator would have, at least, abstained from voting on the legislation to avoid the appearance of influence. Sadly, maybe no one even pretends anymore.
One wishes for major campaign finance reform. By the way, Representative Cupp received $2,350; and voted “Yes”, too.
Michael Wildermuth, Lima