ONN is reporting that utility companies are donating tons of cash to Ohio’s GOP lawmakers who are responsible for shaping the state’s new energy policy.

Investor-owned utilities most affected by changes coming in Ohio’s $14 billion electric power industry have lavished thousands of dollars on the political campaigns of Republicans who will steer those changes.

Campaign finance records show that the political action committees of FirstEnergy Corp., American Electric Power Co. and Duke Energy have given at least $80,250 to the campaigns of House and Senate leaders and their caucus campaign funds so far this year.

The Senate version of the bill received a nod from Governor Strickland and should soon go to the house.

But House Speaker Jon Husted appears to be in no hurry to get the bill passed. On Monday he “announced a schedule for hearings on the energy bill beginning next week and into January.”

It looks like he’s going to delay as long as possible hoping the utility companies keep on making contributions.