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Opponents of HB6 Say Nuclear Bailout Freeze is not Enough

Power lines
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
A freeze on the new electric charges that stem from HB6 would not really help ratepayers, according to the Ohio Consumers Power Alliance.

New charges are set to appear on everyone's electric bills in Ohio to support a nuclear power plant bailout. While that bailout is linked to an alleged bribery scheme, House Republicans seem poised to freeze the law rather than repeal it.

House leadership is signaling a freeze to the bailout, HB798, will be the vehicle used to address the energy laws created through HB6. The energy law allows for new charges of up to $2.35 a month on electric bills for nuclear, coal, and solar subsidies.

Rachael Belz with Ohio Consumers Power Alliancesays a freeze on the new charges doesn't truly help the ratepayers.

"It's more like pushing something off that you never intend to get back to," Belz said.

Talk of an HB6 repeal began after House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested about five months ago accused of a bribery scheme that helped him rise to leadership and HB6 become law.

It's believed FirstEnergy funneled millions of dollars into the alleged scheme. HB6 accomplishes several things on the company's legislative agenda.

The nuclear and solar subsidies amount to a $0.85 monthly charge on electric bills. That new charge generates $150 million a year for two nuclear power plants in Ohio and $20 million for existing solar farms.

HB798 would not repeal the provisions in HB6 that cuts renewable energy standards and eliminates energy efficiency standards.
Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.