Religious Leaders Want Answers, Reform, from FirstEnergy

by

2 comments
A group of regional religious leaders want to sit down with FirstEnergy leadership to discuss reform.

In a letter to new FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and the company's board of directors, 38 undersigned pastors (in partnership with the Ohio Organizing 
Collaborative, Communities United for Responsible Energy, and Common Good Ohio), expressed concern at the way the utilities behemoth has been conducting business. 



“It’s time that we as citizens demand corporate America be accountable to us,” Bishop Eugene Ward, of Cleveland, said in press release. “We can’t afford the higher rates nor the damage that FirstEnergy is wreaking on our environment.”

On the environment, yes, but also on churches. In Cleveland, where many houses of worship are old and inefficient, energy bills are often a burdensome expense. The clergy said they were dismayed that while their rates have increased, an audit program that helped them identify cost-cutting measures is no longer available to them. 



"The ministry of hospitality is central to the ministry to the poor, and that begins with buildings that are warm and light," said Father David Bargetzi of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Cleveland, in a press release. “If we cannot afford to pay our own bills, we can do nothing."

The letter to also chastised FirstEnergy for asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to pass an Electric Security Plan (ESP) that would subsidize FirstEnergy’s Sammis coal-burning power plant and the Davis Besse nuclear power plant.

"This subsidy would rob the poorest among us for the profit of a massive corporation and hurt families by forcing them to underwrite the costs of outmoded facilities whose harmful byproducts make them sick," the letter said. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.