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Ohio Democrats backing bills for energy companies to change how they conduct business

Sammis Power Plant

Democrats in the Ohio Legislature want to make changes to the state's energy policy.

Those changes include limiting how energy companies can lobby lawmakers and where the money comes from to do that.

Democrats also want to get energy customers off the hook for paying for two coal-fired power plants that were funded as part of HB 6, the nuclear energy bailout bill that was at the center of a $61 billion bribery scheme that led to the conviction and subsequent imprisonment of two prominent people in GOP politics: former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges.

For the past two years, Ohio energy utility customers have spent more than $211 million on two coal-fired energy plants owned by Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC). The plants, which were built in the 1950's, are located in Cheshire, Ohio and Madison, Indiana.

Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) said there is no way energy customers in Ohio should be paying for these "antiquated" plants.

"Ohio ratepayers should not be bailing out the business decisions, and really the poor business decisions, of investor-owned utilities, particularly for a generation of resources that do not even reside in Ohio," Craig said.

Craig has re-introduced a bill he backed in the previous General Assembly (SB 117) that would end ratepayer subsidies for the plants and refund the money already paid by customers to cover costs for the plants.

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