This was a sad week for solar and wind warriors who have fought to have our voices heard at the Ohio Power Siting Board. We lost a friend and advocate when PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo submitted his resignation to Governor DeWine so that he might not become a distraction to the important work of serving the public interest and Ohio’s energy policies. The “green lobby” sought to delegitimize Chairman Randazzo’s work, but those of us who have long sought a sympathetic ear at the Ohio Power Siting Board know that during Randazzo’s tenure, aggressive developers and their ideologically-obsessed followers could no longer count on “rubber stamp” approvals. Sam’s work brought a better focus to the concerns of local communities and, in doing so, also brought to light the shortcomings of Ohio’s siting regulations that disenfranchise rural residents.
In his letter of resignation, Chairman Randazzo reminded Governor DeWine that:
“Prior to my arrival at the OPSB, decisions were better characterized as being the product of a rubber stamp than reasoned analysis and proper application of the law. Local interests were unnecessarily subordinated to the virtue signaling demands of wind and solar farm developers some of which were only interested in flipping their project. Prior to my arrival, no OPSB Board Member attended local public hearings further signaling disinterest in local views and concerns. Since my arrival, I have personally attended almost all of these hearings listening for hours as citizens offered their testimony. Further reform is also needed here, however. In my opinion, the next step is to modify the OPSB’s statutory framework to require the OPSB to consider the views and preferences of local land use planning authorities on the front end of the process so that decisions might better balance local and statewide interests when determining public convenience and necessity. [Emphasis Added]
Godspeed Sam Randazzo.