Lawmakers Crafting Legislation To Repeal HB6

Jul 22, 2020

State lawmakers are quickly putting a proposal together that would repeal the energy laws created through House Bill 6. It’s a sweeping energy bill that bailed out two nuclear power plants along with making other big changes. However, the bill 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 FirstEnergy Solutions two nuclear power plants, Davis-Besse (Oak Harbor) and Perry (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," says Rep. Michael O'Brien (D-Waren).

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 says all the Democrats are on board with a plan to repeal, "It barely passed by just a few votes. 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 say 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," says DeWine.

The law in HB6 created an increased charge of $0.85 a month on everyone's electric bills, creating $150 million in nuclear subsidies and $20 million in solar subsidies.

The bill also allowed for another increased charge on monthly electric bills of up to $1.50 to subsidize Ohio Valley Electric Corporation coal plants, Kyger Creek (Gallia County) and Clifty Creek (Madison, IN).

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.