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PUCO’s?rate records should be open to public

October 13, 2011
Salem News

Ohio's open records law is being questioned again, this time over documents involved in a rate settlement between an electric company and the state Public Utilities Commission.

State Attorney General Mike DeWine has adopted the right attitude: Regardless of objections to release of the documents, they ought to be made available to the public.

In addition to the electric company, several other entities have objected to making the information public. They include the state Hospital Association, state Manufacturers' Association and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Some opponents say releasing the documents would compromise trade secrets.

Surely the PUCO can, possibly by redacting some portions of the documents, provide most of the information about settlement negotiations.

Ohio's open records law was enacted to ensure the public has access to information about affairs that affect it. Utility rates certainly fall into that category. The documents in question should be released by the PUCO.



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