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Environment & Energy

Environmentalists Criticize New Energy 'Bailout' Bill

photo of perry nuclear power plant
The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County is one of two nuclear plants in Ohio that might shut down if lawmakers don't provide subsidies to save them.

Environmental advocates say the Senate’s new energy plan is taking Ohio in the wrong direction when it comes to emerging energy sources and innovations. That plan would likely bail out two nuclear power plants through new charges on electric bills.

The latest proposal would create a new 85-cent fee on monthly electric bills, with most of the money going to nuclear. It also subsidizes coal plants through a $1.50 fee.

To offset the cost to ratepayers, Republican lawmakers want to weaken renewable energy requirements and get rid of energy efficiency programs.

Dan Sawmiller with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the plan boils down to four major steps.

“It’s a nuclear bailout, a coal bailout, a reduction in incentives for new renewable energy projects that’s driving new economic development in the state, and a complete elimination of our energy efficiency program in the state which is driving new economic activity in the state of Ohio. So it certainly seems to be a step backwards,” he said.

Sawmiller: new energy plan is a bailout for the nuclear and coal industries

The bill could receive a full Senate vote later this week.