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Government/Politics

Nuclear Bailout Referendum Group Not Disclosing Backers Yet

Ohio House meets on July 23 to concur with Senate changes to HB6, the energy bill, to send the legislation to Gov. Mike DeWine.
Andy Chow
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Ohio House meets on July 23 to concur with Senate changes to HB6, the energy bill, to send the legislation to Gov. Mike DeWine.

The Ohio Attorney General is looking over referendum language filed by a group fighting the state’s new energy law. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts says it's against the law that makes electric customers fund a bailout for nuclear plants and scraps successful green energy policies, but there's still no word on who’s backing this effort.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) has repeatedly claimed “Chinese interests” back the referendum since they’re invested in some gas plants in Ohio.

But Gene Pierce, with Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, says his group seeking the referendum is not revealing specific donors yet, but notes at some point both sides will have to disclose their donations.

“And we’ll let the voters decide which donors are more reliable and more trustworthy,” says Pierce.

British and French groups have also invested in Ohio gas plants.

On the flip side, FirstEnergy Corporation, which used to own the nuclear plants getting bailed out, has contributed nearly $1 million in campaign funds to Householder and other officeholders since 2017.

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