On September 8, 2003, the recording industry sued 261 American music fans for sharing songs on peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks, kicking off an unprecedented legal campaign against the people that should be the recording industry’s best customers: music fans.
Technology was changing and there was a massive shift underway in the music industry.
The record companies responded by choosing to Litigate rather than Innovate.
And guess what? The record companies were financially ruined and will never fully recover.
At the same time Apple chose to work with the technology and they became the most valuable company in the world and created enormous value for their shareholders and customers.
Today in the energy world we see a similar drama playing out. There are massive technological improvements changing the way we generate and use electricity. Many utilities are choosing to innovate so that they can compete in the future.
But a specific Ohio utility and Senator Seitz are using the old Litigate versus Innovate strategy to try and roll back standards that have created jobs and saved over a billion dollars already for Ohio ratepayers.
Rolling back these standards will no more stop the changes in the electricity industry than suing 13 year old kids and grandparents stopped it in the music business.
What rolling them back will do is align Ohio with the losing side. We are already seeing millions of dollars in investment flee the state with even the discussion on changing the standards. Why invest in a state that won't invest in it's own future? Smart investors would rather see Innovation not Litigation.
Why invest in Ohio when other states are expanding their standards and embracing these technology changes?
Senator Seitz tries to paint the picture that these standards cost Ohio ratepayers money. The Ohio State University has released a study that shows the opposite. These standards will save all Ohio ratepayers over $3 billion dollars over the next 12 years.
These standards have created more than 25,000 jobs over the last 5 years.
Let's be clear: This bill serves one group and one group only, the utilities that would rather try and hold back progress and keep their profits rather than innovate and make the world better for everyone else.
If Ohio is to compete in the 21st century we must Innovate and not Litigate. The only people who profit when we litigate are the litigators themselves, which in this case include Senator Seitz.