In mid-2013, state Sen. Bill Seitz tried to replace the lucrative renewable energy law with a watered-down energy bill called Senate Bill 58. As chair of the Ohio Senate’s Public Utilities Committee, he controlled the hearings to take testimony about the bill, but Ohio’s major newspapers, Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, Scott’s Miracle Grow, Honda and many outraged citizens spoke out against his bill.
Seitz’s attempts were put on hold in December when he couldn’t get enough support from fellow legislators, although he vowed to continue his fight against “enviro-socialist” mandates. “There are many ways to skin the cat,” he said.
The latest way, Senate Bill 310, was introduced by Sen. Troy Balderson.
This is the latest attempt by Republicans to respond to the concerns of utilities and business groups, and it would cancel the next 11 years of increases in the requirements
FirstEnergy, the Akron-based utility, has been one of the main supporters of reining in the renewable energy benchmarks. Asked about the newest plan for a moratorium on those standards, FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin said: “We just continue to work with legislators on this issue.”
I get it. Our legislators continue to work on this issue with utility businesses to get rid of a popular law that has proven to be a money-maker for Ohio consumers.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the concept of green energy is beside the point. We all would agree that saving money on our monthly utility bill is a good thing, and we should be deeply troubled that Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate continue to work so diligently to satisfy large utility companies like FirstEnergy, instead of representing the needs of ordinary constituents.
If Senate Bill 310 becomes law before lawmakers begin their summer recess, Ohio voters must remember in November to remove every politician from office who catered to the interests of corporate sponsors who help fund their re-election campaigns.
There are many ways to skin that cat.
Endearing trait in a chief executive
I am responding to the March 28 letter “Presidential waste of time.”
The fact that President Obama shares his interest in sports with the world is a comforting thing. It makes him more approachable. He’s just like us.
The writer wonders how much time Vladimir Putin devotes to Russian sports. If you watched the Winter Olympics, held in Russia this year, you would’ve seen Putin in the audience numerous times.
Obama’s speeches have kept us informed, another plus for us.
His early childhood was anything but normal. He rose above poverty and became a college graduate. His life experience motivates his every decision.
He is well-educated and understands the games played in politics. I say we got it right when we took advantage of a rare opportunity to elect a serious man of demonstrated skill and energy, who rolled up his sleeves and tackled the enormous responsibilities of the president of the United States.
We don’t have to imagine anyone making a fool of Mitt Romney. He did it to himself quite often during his bid for the White House.
Diversion of educational assets
It should be no surprise to anyone that for-profit charter schools have no oversight. Our elected leaders believe that our tax dollars belong to them to distribute where it will earn them the highest rate of return, in campaign contributions.
They have learned well from Gov. John Kasich and JobsOhio, which practices the same method. I am sure that the for-profit management companies for charter schools pay themselves before the schools see a dime.
Beware big money in politics
Super PACs basically sponsored by the Koch brothers and other millionaires have one agenda, and that is to buy our democracy. These PACs spend countless dollars on negative ads that help to destroy candidates they do not want in office.
My concern is few people have the power to hold them accountable. The media, among them the local newspaper, should at least make it known to their readers and viewers the facts about any issue that will affect their livelihood.
Many people are influenced by what they hear on radio and television and read in the newspapers. The average person needs to know which candidate will support issues that are important to him or her.
Average people do not have the millions that these super PACs have, so it is vital that the people hear the truth and know the facts on all candidates. However constant the negative responses, someone has to step up and tell who the best candidate is. Average people only have one alternative, and that is at the ballot box. Our vote is our only weapon to fight back.
Super PACs have one agenda: To use their money to influence our electoral system, and they will spend millions to do this. People should also be encouraged to get out and vote in all primary and general elections.
The media need to do more to help educate the community. Super PACs help win elections with money. Communities need to know the facts and how important it is to vote.
Anything but a conservative
I recently read a letter referring to state Sen. Frank LaRose as a “conservative” (“LaRose does his job well,” March 29). To refute, consider a piece of legislation that LaRose sponsored, along with 10 Democrats. Besides LaRose, no other Republicans signed on.
Senate Bill 125 is anti-freedom legislation that would grant special rights to homosexuals and transgender persons, while trampling on religious freedom. As a pastor, this greatly concerns me.
I’ve seen how, in other states where such legislation has passed, Christian business owners have been targeted, sued and prosecuted for standing on their sincerely held Christian beliefs.
There was no specific intent to discriminate against homosexuals. Rather, these business owners simply did not want to be forced into what they deemed participation in gay wedding ceremonies by supplying the wedding cake, photographing the event or providing the flowers.
They were ultimately fined and, in at least one instance, faced possible jail time.
Although LaRose’s legislation would exempt churches, it would not exempt individual Christians and Christian businesses that would face the same type of government persecution.
And, as has been the experienced in Canada, this type of legislation is a slippery slope which could ultimately lead to silencing pastors.
LaRose has lost the endorsement of Ohio Right to Life, which Caleb Davenport, LaRose’s challenger in the May 6 primary, has rightly earned based upon his unequivocal support of innocent human life.
LaRose does not represent the values of the majority of Wayne County citizens.
And, clearly, he is not a conservative Republican. Even a Beacon Journal editorial column referred to LaRose as “another moderate Republican” (“February filings bring May primaries,” Feb. 6).
If you care about religious freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment, please vote for Caleb Davenport on May 6.
Environment for preservation
“Go green” is a slogan adopted by many. The key is engaging young people. Pets are to be loved and cared for, but we need to go further. Honeybees are being decimated by toxic chemicals and pesticides.
This is a red flag. We need to make efforts to protect natural habitats from over-development and over-drilling by greedy energy companies.
I know developers and drillers produce good jobs, but the long-term common good must come first. Think of future generations.
It’s great that the bald eagle is once again on the rebound. Let’s keep that going by doing our part to help God’s creatures flourish. Our grandchildren will thank us for the courageous efforts we make today to preserve our fragile ecosystem.