By B.N. Frank
ComEd Utility in Illinois recently agreed to pay a $200M fine for federal bribery. The Illinois House Speaker and clean-energy advocates have also been cited as being complicit.
ComEd stands accused of steering jobs, contracts and payments to associates of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in exchange for favorable treatment in the state legislature, including legislation related to rate increases, WBEZ reported Friday. Exelon CEO Anne Pramaggiore left the company in October, and top lobbyists have also left the company.
The scandal has cast a pall over ComEd’s relationship with state lawmakers and clean-energy advocates, and has stymied its efforts to move ahead with preferred legislation. That includes an effort to remove ComEd from the capacity market operated by mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM as a means of protecting its nuclear power plants from unfavorable pricing likely to emerge from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s December decision to force PJM to impose minimum prices on a wide array of state-supported grid resources.
ComEd was able to convince some pro-clean-energy groups to include this “fixed resource requirement” proposal in a state bill called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which combines a mandate for 100 percent renewables by 2050 with other policies pertaining to carbon reduction, electric transportation and job creation. That bill, along with a rival clean energy bill called Path to 100, failed to move ahead this spring during the state legislature’s emergency session, which was constrained by COVID-19.
Similar charges have been filed with Ohio’s House Speaker and four others.
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and 4 others arrested in $60 million bribery case
The powerful Republican speaker of the Ohio House and four associates were arrested Tuesday in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. Hours after FBI agents raided Speaker Larry Householder’s farm, U.S. Attorney David DeVillers described the ploy as “likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio.”
Householder was one of the driving forces behind the nuclear plants’ financial rescue, which added a new fee to every electricity bill in the state and directed over $150 million a year through 2026 to the plants near Cleveland and Toledo. After Householder’s arrest, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on him to resign.
Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately. This is a sad day for Ohio.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) July 21, 2020
Also arrested were Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, longtime Statehouse lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matthew Borges and Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group, a Columbus-based consulting firm.
Lawmakers behaving badly on behalf of utility companies is nothing new. It often occurs regarding legislation and rate increases passed for “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water. Many Ohio utility companies have installed “Smart” Meters.
“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”.
Activist Post Recommended Book: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Since utilities worldwide have installed tens of millions of “Smart” Meters – it’s likely that you have them installed on your home and throughout your community. There are so many problems associated with them (including fires and explosions) and they are SO EXPENSIVE that a documentary was produced about them in 2013 and was updated and re-released in 2017.
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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