ICYMI: John Oliver Takes on FirstEnergy Bribery Scandal

For Immediate Release:
Monday, May 16, 2022

Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver took FirstEnergy and Ohio Republicans to task last night with a feature on how working Americans are paying the price for the too-cozy relationship between politicians and Big Energy. Oliver highlighted the FirstEnergy bribery scandal as the perfect example of how energy executives are too often in the pocket of politicians, like Larry Householder, or political appointees like Sam Randazzo and his friends in Mike DeWine’s office. Oliver’s feature is another reminder of just how shocking this bribery scandal is and how we still don’t have answers from Mike DeWine about what he knew and when about the largest public corruption scheme in Ohio history.

“What is very clear is that FirstEnergy was working extremely hard to influence the decision making process. They actually paid the chairman of the state’s utility commission $22 million in consulting fees in the years directly preceding him becoming their regulator,” said John Oliver while discussing the scandal.

Watch the video discussing Ohio here : 

Some of what Oliver discussed:

  • In some states like Ohio, public officials appear fully in utilities’ pockets. 

  • Very basically, FirstEnergy funneled $60 million to the speaker of the Ohio House [Larry Householder] to pass HB 6.

  • The bill has been called the worst energy bill of the 21st century. 

  • FirstEnergy worked extremely hard to influence the decision making process.

  • Energy company paid the chairman of the state’s utility commission [Sam Randazzo] $22 million in consulting fees before he joined PUCO.

  • Texts between FirstEnergy Chuck Jones and Randazzo the day HB 6 was passed show the coordination with Jones texting Randazzo: “F*** anybody who aint (sic) us.”

  • Bottom line: Utility companies have monopolies over the system so they can make as much money as possible while passing costs along to you. 

You can watch the full segment here.