By B.N. Frank
Activist Post has reported about the legislator-utility bribery situations in both Ohio and Illinois. It’s worth noting that Americans have also been getting screwed over in a BIG WAY by law makers and their cronies via legislation for utility “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water. These meters don’t save meaningful amounts of energy – as originally promised. They are also plagued with other serious problems including fires, explosions, increased bills, and more (see 1, 2, 3, 4).
Americans and people worldwide have been fighting “Smart” Meters since they first started being deployed. “Smart” Meters collect customer usage data 24/7 whereas original 1-way transmitting analog meters DO NOT. Utilities collect and analyze usage data so they can market more products and services to customers and/or sell it to 3rd parties a la “Surveillance Capitalism.”
Sounds corrupt, doesn’t it? But I digress.
More details from Vox on the current Ohio and Illinois utility bribery scandals:
An FBI investigation shows Ohio’s abysmal energy law was fueled by corruption
Electric utilities’ corruption problem is much bigger than FirstEnergy’s alleged bribery of Larry Householder.
Update, July 23: On Thursday, the day after this article was first published, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called for the repeal of HB 6, the energy bill passed in 2019 now tied to a bribery scandal in the Ohio legislature.
On Tuesday, the news broke that the FBI had arrested Ohio Speaker of the House of Representatives Larry Householder, the architect of HB 6, a law that passed in July 2019. That bill, widely recognized as the worst energy policy in the country, gutted Ohio’s renewables and energy efficiency laws while bailing out several coal and nuclear plants.
As I wrote in my book, Short Circuiting Policy, the law was a multibillion-dollar gift to FirstEnergy, a private electric utility that has resisted climate policy for decades. It turns out it was a gift paid for with $61 million in bribes.
Spending a few million to get more than a billion dollars? Not a bad return on investment.
Unfortunately, this kind of corruption is not an aberration for the electric utility industry. Across the country, most private utilities are resisting the clean energy transition, and many are buying off politicians with campaign contributions to do it. What’s more, the industry celebrates it — the Edison Electric Institute, the national private utility association, gave FirstEnergy an award for its work to pass HB 6.
Corruption like this within the electric utility industry is a barrier to solving the climate crisis. But the way forward is clear: Citizens must demand that politicians stop taking money from these fossil fuel companies and start holding them accountable.
Something is rotten in the state of Ohio
Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Since American utility companies have installed tens of millions of “Smart” Meters – it’s likely that you have them installed on your home and throughout your community. It’s unfortunate that the Clean Energy folks aren’t relentlessly going after these meters too (see 1, 2, 3). They keep proving NOT to be eco-friendly or beneficial to customers.
Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Wireless Information Network
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