Ohio Lawmakers Crafting Legislation To Repeal Nuclear Bailout At The Center Of Householder Investigation

Perry Nuclear Power Plant
Perry Nuclear Power Plant [Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau]
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Ohio lawmakers are quickly putting a proposal together that would repeal the energy laws created through House Bill 6, the sweeping energy bill that bailed out two nuclear power plants, among other changes, and is now at the center of a federal racketeering investigation.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is accused of funneling money from a company widely thought to be FirstEnergy for personal and political benefit in return for passing the bailout of the company's two nuclear power plants, Davis-Besse in Oak Harbor) and Perry.

A bipartisan group lawmakers are working on a repeal. 

"I think that the entire process was obscene and I think that the entire process needs to be eliminated," Rep. Michael O'Brien (D-Waren) said.

The bill was approved by a final House concurrence vote of 51-38, needing nine House Democrats to vote "yes" in order to pass.

O'Brien said all the Democrats are on board with a plan to repeal.

"It barely passed by just a few votes," he said. "And I think this bipartisan bill to repeal House Bill 6 will overwhelmingly pass." 

Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) and Rep. Laura Lanes (R-Grove City), both opponents of HB6, said they plan to announce legislation to repeal the bill on Thursday.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) does not support a repeal of HB6, saying that he is in favor of keeping nuclear power generation in Ohio.

"Because people did bad things does not mean the policy is not a good policy," DeWine said.

HB6 created an increased charge of 85 cents per month on ratepayer's electric bills through 2027, creating $150 million in nuclear subsidies and $20 million in solar subsidies. It also allowed for another increased charge on monthly electric bills of up to $1.50 to subsidize Ohio Valley Electric Corporation's coal-fired plants, Kyger Creek in Gallia County and Clifty Creek in Madison, Ind.

Environmental groups are calling for a repeal of the law. They opposed HB6 in large part because it rolled back renewable energy standards and eliminated energy efficiency standards. Conservative groups also opposed the bill, saying struggling companies should not get bailed out by the government.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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