Gongwer News Service Ohio.  Rep. Bill Seitz on Thursday named members to a House task force charged with to studying energy issues in the coming months.

Four lawmakers and representatives from a dozen interested parties ranging from utilities to consumer groups will form the Speaker’s Task Force on Energy Policy, which will hold its inaugural meeting 1 p.m. Oct. 4 on the Riffe Center’s 31st floor.

The appointments finalize the roster for the final of five task forces created by House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) earlier this year to explore priority subject areas. Four of the five task forces – those covering education, Alzheimer’s, military affairs and opioids – have already begun meeting. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, March 14, 2017)

Lawmakers serving on the task force – in addition to Chairman Seitz (R-Cincinnati) – include Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo), Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville), and Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford).

Other members include:

Shawn Bennett, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

Nate Filler, government affairs director for Dayton Power & Light.

John Keaton of Duke Energy.

Mike Kurtz, counsel for the Ohio Energy Group.

Shawn Nelson, lobbyist for the Retail Energy Supply Association.

Terrence O’Donnell, of Advanced Energy Economy.

Ty Pine, director of state affairs for FirstEnergy.

Sam Randazzo, counsel for Industrial Energy Users-Ohio.

Todd Snitchler, of the Alliance for Energy Choice.

Sarah Spence, director of government affairs for the Ohio Environmental Council.

Jimmy Stewart, president of the Ohio Gas Association.

Chrisy Bowen Wright, state government affairs director for American Electric Power.

“Through the diverse selection of participants, Chairman Seitz ensured that the wide range of issues that Ohio faces when it comes to energy and public utilities were represented in the membership of the Speaker’s Energy Task Force,” according to the announcement.

The task force forms at a time when several controversial energy-related bills are pending in either chamber, including proposals to render renewable energy standards unenforceable goals (HB 114); subsidize both nuclear plants (SB 128 & HB 178) and costs for Ohio Valley Electric Corporation owners (SB 155 & HB 239); regulate submetering (HB 249 & SB 157); and reduce wind setbacks.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) on Wednesday said he was pleased overall with the task forces’ work so far. The groups were originally expected to begin meeting last spring but were delayed due to budget negotiations. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, July 11, 2017)

“They’re going out and getting valuable information and they’ll be able to bring it back and help us process bills that I think will help a lot of Ohioans,” he said.

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