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Government & Politics

Who's Behind Push for Referendum on Energy Bill?

photo of House of Representatives
Andy Chow
Ohio House meets to pass HB6

The Ohio Attorney General is looking over referendum language filed by a group fighting the state’s new energy law. It says it's against the law that makes electric customers fund a bailout for nuclear plants and scraps successful green energy policies.

Republican House Speaker Larry Householder repeatedly claims "Chinese interests" back the referendum since they’re invested in some gas plants in Ohio.

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,” Pierce said.

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.