Power Play: Politics in Ohio Utility Oversight is the work of an investigative journalist who dug deeply into the Ohio Public Utility Commission to find out why electric rates are increasing so rapidly. What he uncovered through FOIA requests and interviews with current and former state officials didn't smell so good.
Corruption, collusion and regulatory capture aren't unique only to Ohio, however. The exact same thing happens in every state in the nation, including West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia (but it only works for you there if your parent company name is Dominion Resources, right, PATH?). It also happens at the federal level, where power company lobbyists constantly whisper in FERC's ear.
This is why PATH was spending YOUR money on a program of increasingly unsavory deeds intended to influence the state utility commissions considering their applications for the project. These costs PATH recovered from you have produced two Formal Challenges to FERC by consumers, one for their 2009 expenses and one for their 2010 expenses.
Because this is how the regulatory game is played, you will never succeed at playing it by their rules. And the corporate buyout of regulatory agencies happens because you've been conditioned to think of it as only a nickel or a dime, or a handful of pennies.
"Tut, tut, tut, little ratepayer, don't worry your pretty little head about such complicated concepts as ratemaking -- we make that confusing on purpose so you will just shrug your shoulders, pony up your monthly nickel, and leave us in peace with the public officials who are supposed to be looking out for your interests but are really in our pockets instead."
And the energy corporations will continue to book record profits until you consumers start to care enough to make some changes. Look me up when you're on board and we'll set sail...