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Government & Politics

Speaker Larry Householder Fears Chinese Interest in Energy Bill Referendum

photo of Larry Householder
House Speaker Larry Householder says he's concerned with potential Chinese involvement with the energy grid in Ohio.

Opponents of the new law that will give $150 million a year in subsidies to Ohio’s two nuclear power plants are working on a plan to ask voters to overturn it. The leader of the Ohio House said they’ll need big money to do that, and he’s very concerned about what he sees as a possible source for those funds.

Natural gas provides a third of Ohio’s electricity generation. Republican Speaker Larry Householder said three of the four natural gas powered plants in Ohio are funded by Chinese interests. And he said overturning the law by the group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts will be vastly expensive.

“The only folks that have a tremendous interest in closing down our nuclear power plants, where Ohio generates its energy and where there are Ohio jobs, are people from outside the state of Ohio who want to monopolize our grid. And who are they? They’re foreign nationals from China,” Householder said.

He said potential Chinese involvement is a security issue as well.

A spokesman for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts said he wouldn’t respond to Householder’s comments, but he said the coalition includes energy, environmental, and good government groups.