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Government & Politics

Fight Continues Over Energy Bill, Ohio Supreme Court May Step In

Ohio Supreme Court
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The fate of House Bill 6 could ultimately end up in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court.

The fate of Ohio's new energy law could be up to the state's Supreme Court with parties arguing over two potential cases. One group is asking for more time to hold a referendum on the nuclear bailout law, and another case argues that the bill cannot be subject to a referendum in the first place. 

The energy law bails out nuclear and subsidizes coal plants through rate increases. Attorneys for FirstEnergy Solutions argue that those rate increases should be considered tax increases, which cannot be subject to a referendum. The window has closed for groups to file in that case.

Three of the seven justices have already recused themselves. Most of the justices on the court have received campaign contributions from FirstEnergy Solutions which stands to gain about $1 billion in subsidies through the new law.

Meanwhile, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts want more time to collect signatures for that referendum, after a federal judge referred their case back to the state Supreme Court. No word on whether the court will hear that case.