Saturday, January 17, 2009
DISCUSSION: HOW LAZY CAN YOU GET? HUGE CONSEQUENCES FOR STARK COUNTIANS!
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that when the Ohio House of Representatives voted in April, 2008 to pass the new legislative regime "regulating" (if that is what you want to call it) utility companies operating in Ohio, one, probably two area legislators, did not know that the likes of American Electric Power (Ohio Power) and First Energy (FE - Ohio Edison) were given veto power over any regulatory action the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) took on electric utility rates.
An area elected official has told The Report that in a discussion within the past few days he had with Republican Scott Oelslager (51st House District - Jackson Township) that Oelslager revealed that did not know about lines 1073 to 1086 in SB 221 which gave AEP and First Energy the right to veto any scaling down of proposed rate increases and go market rate.
Also, The Report has learned that the then chair of the Ohio House public utilities committee John Hagan (R - Marlboro) could not answer certain questions about the bill when asked by one of his constituents.
What is going on?
Oelslager's excuse. The bill was bipartisan and passed unanimously.
So he didn't read the bill because the word was: "there's nothing in the bill to be concerned about, after all both political parties are supporting it and no legislator plans to vote against it."
How lame and, if The Report may add - LAZY!"
Obviously, Oelslager is not an actively engaged legislator who seeks to protect Stark Countians from the likes of Ohio Power and Ohio Edison.
He has said that he plans to play musical chairs again in November, 2010 (to circumvent the spirit of term limits passed - by the way - by his political party) and run for the 29th District Ohio Senate seat currently held by fellow musical chair Stark County politician Kirk Schuring.
The Report's plea to Oelslager. Don't do it. Anyone who lacks the energy or inclination and enthusiasm for the job to thoroughly understand legislation he is voting on; shouldn't be in the legislature.
At least Stark Countians are now rid of John Hagan.
What does this mean for Stark Countians and their monthly electric bills?
An example: If the PUCO denies AEP its request for a 52% rate increase over three years (which The Report fully expects it will), then AEP (Ohio Power) can veto the PUCO action and go ahead and increase rates by the 52% or even higher.
An effort is under way by a local elected official to get Oelslager, Slesnick (Democrat - 52nd) and Todd Snitcher (Republican - 50th) and Kirk Schuring to work together to fix the unacceptable "veto power" given AEP and FE in SB 221.
Stark Countians should be flooding the offices of these elected representatives with demands that they take united against to undo this aspect of SB 221.
Here are the e-mail links to each of these officials.
Click on the name.
OHIO HOUSE - STARK COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES:
OHIO SENATE - STARK COUNTY SENATORS:
Posted by Martin Olson at 8:06 AM