Franklin County Dems Chair Speaks Out About PUCO Chief

Greg Haas, chairman of the Franklin County (Columbus) Democratic Party, issued a statement today regarding Publicity Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Todd Snitchler.

As you'll recall from my post yesterday, Snitchler's Twitter feed was found to be jammed with wild-eyed climate-change denial messages.

http://www.ohiodailyblog.com/content/puco-chief-has-climate-denial-buddies-—-what-surprise.

Whether Snitchler shares their views or whether he's just in thrall to big Republican donors in the gas and coal industries is unclear.

But as Haas points out, decisions such as the recent one shutting out a new solar energy company that would have created as many as 600 jobs, are costly for Ohio, positioning it as a behind-the-curve, backward-looking state rather than an innovative state of the future:

The PUCO has a critical role in ensuring consumers benefit from the most advanced energy technologies and solutions. Most observers agree that new and emerging technologies and sources must be found to address the states' long term energy challenges. That doesn't seem to be true for Chairman Snitchler. His contemptuous dismissal of virtually all green energy sources recklessly disregards the near unanimous view that it is reliable, affordable, and beneficial for our health, our economy, and our environment.

Haas then urges Governor Kasich to remove Snitchler as his appointment is "demonstrating a callous disregard for Ohio's best interests."

Well, good luck with that. This is the same governor who summarily nixed free money to start up passenger rail again in Ohio — something that could have created thousands of jobs. It's the same governor who awarded hundreds of millions to companies on the promise that they would CUT no more than a certain number of jobs. It's the same governor who wants to fund the possibly unconstitutional, unproven JobsOhio with the profits from the state liquor franchise. It's the same governor who wants to suck money out of the turnpike to be used for pet projects elsewhere with potentially devastating effects on the economy of northern Ohio.

Sometimes it really doesn't seem as if "Ohio's best interests" are at the top of his list.

Here's Haas' complete letter:

RETIRE RADICAL REGULATORS

“Governor Kasich, listen to the words of former Governor Jim Rhodes, retire radical regulators before they recklessly cost us Ohio jobs that will reward Ohio for years to come.”

COLUMBUS: Recent media reports reveal that Public Utility Commission of Ohio Chairman Todd Snitchler has privately expressed views that render him unfit to serve in his present capacity. He's been exposed as a partisan, ultra-conservative ideologue who ignores evidence that doesn’t support his pre-conceived prejudices. Ohio can't afford to fall victim to the politicization of science, at the expense of our future.

The most recent decisions by the PUCO cost Ohio hundreds of jobs in the solar energy industry.

The PUCO has a critical role in ensuring consumers benefit from the most advanced energy technologies and solutions. Most observers agree that new and emerging technologies and sources must be found to address the states' long term energy challenges. That doesn't seem to be true for Chairman Snitchler. His contemptuous dismissal of virtually all green energy sources recklessly disregards the near unanimous view that it is reliable, affordable, and beneficial for our health, our economy, and our environment.

"While Governor Kasich is dragging the media to feel good events for worthy causes, in an effort to boost his sagging approval ratings, his appointee to Chair the PUCO is demonstrating a callous disregard for Ohio's best interests," said Franklin County Democratic Party Chair Greg Haas. "Chairman Snitchler is entitled to his views. But it's unimaginable that a man whose views fall so far out of the main stream, remain in such an important and powerful position. Governor Kasich should do the right thing and remove Snitchler as soon as possible."

[Columbus] Mayor [Michael] Coleman, and [Franklin] County Commissioners, [John] O’Grady, [Marilyn] Brown, and [Paula] Brooks have pursued efforts to lead to a greener city and country, while producing jobs.

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