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AEP 'Cooperating Fully' with SEC Subpoena

Power lines
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
HB6, passed in 2019, altered Ohio energy policy. An investigation continues into alleged bribery that led to the bill's approval.

AEP Ohio says the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into benefits from HB6, the energy bill at the center of a bribery scandal.

The statement from ​Columbus-based AEP to investors says the SEC is seeking various documents related to ​how House Bill 6 ​benefited the company. 

​The sweeping energy bill not only bailed out nuclear power plants, but created hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for two coal plants partly owned by AEP.

"Although we cannot predict the outcome of the SEC’s inquiry, we do not believe the results of this inquiry will have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows," the AEP written statement said. "AEP continues to believe that our participation in the HB6 process was at all times lawful and ethical."

Federal prosecutors ​allege FirstEnergy, which provides power to six million people in five states, funneled millions of dollars to a group controlled by former House Speaker Larry Householder, in return for passing HB6. 

Once the bribery allegations were announced, AEP conducted an internal investigation and says it has no reason to believe the company was "involved in any wrongful conduct."

Copyright 2021 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.