HB6

The Ohio House is planning another hearing on a potential repeal of HB6, the legislation that which big changes to Ohio energy laws and bailed out nuclear power plants. Opponents of HB6 are growing frustrated with the process saying it should be repealed now.

Lawmakers are discussing the potential repeal of a sweeping energy law that bails out nuclear power plants. HB6 is at the center of a federal racketeering investigation. The legislation does several other things that are up to debate, including a utility policy term known as "decoupling."

Ohio Regulators Decline to Force FirstEnergy to Hire an Independent Auditor

Sep 18, 2020
First Energy downtown Akron
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Regulators are requiring FirstEnergy to show that its Ohio utility ratepayers didn’t foot the bill, "directly or indirectly," for political or charitable spending in support of the state’s nuclear and coal bailout bill.

A group calling for the repeal of a sweeping energy law that bailed out nuclear power plants says they have public opinion on their side. The coalition of organizations against HB6 says polling shows little support for the legislation at the center of a federal corruption investigation.

The Ohio House will begin to hold hearings on a possible repeal of a sweeping energy bill that bailed out nuclear power plants, among several other things. Supporters and opponents of the law, which is now at the center of a federal bribery investigation, are fighting over what the final cost would be on electric bills.

A bill to repeal Ohio’s nuclear bailout law has languished for more than a month so far, and signs suggest that House leadership may be angling to defer or stop such efforts as Election Day draws near. Lawmakers filed repeal bills soon after the arrest of former speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and others in July. 

a photo of Emilia Sykes
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

State representative Emilia Sykes of Akron, who serves as minority leader of the Ohio House, says she was not surprised to see former speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) return to the Statehouse this week.

Householder was ousted as speaker in July after federal racketeering charges were filed against him related to a $61 million bribery scandal involving the nuclear power plant bailout law passed last year.

Sykes says Republicans rejected a proposal from Democrats to expel Householder from the chamber.

The Ohio House and Senate both addressed the potential repeal of the nuclear power plant bailout in different ways at the Statehouse on Tuesday. As Democrats call for a quick repeal, Republicans move ahead with a different approach.

The Ohio House came back to work Tuesday. And Republican Rep. Larry Householder did too, for the first time since he was ousted as speaker after he was indicted in an alleged bribery scheme involving the nuclear bailout law he championed.

Republican leaders in the Ohio House have announced the creation of a new committee to hold hearings on the potential repeal of HB6, a nuclear power plant bailout bill at the center of an alleged $60 million corruption scheme.

Attorney General Dave Yost (R-Ohio) says he's considering taking legal action to stall the billion dollar nuclear power plant bailout as legislators consider a possible repeal to the law that created the subsidies.

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.

DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

21 bills were signed into law in Ohio in 2019, including the new $69-billion-dollar two-year budget, a controversial energy bill that reduced or eliminated clean energy standards….and an abortion bill that was put on hold by a federal court before it could take effect.

Ohio Statehouse
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

The battle over the energy law that starts providing subsidies to Ohio’s two nuclear power plants in 2021 might not be over. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to decide whether opponents of the law can take it to voters.

a photo of the petition
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The hotly-contested energy law that bails out nuclear power plants takes effect Tuesday. A group trying to pause the law and put it before voters did not turn in their signatures by the Monday deadline. But the anti-nuclear bailout group is taking a different route.

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts says they didn't have enough signatures to qualify for a referendum by the deadline.  

The group's Gene Pierce says their referendum drive has been met with heavy opposition, including ads, mailers, and canvassers who allegedly blocked and harassed signature collectors.

a photo of the petition
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A group that wants Ohioans to vote on an energy law that bailed out Ohio's two nuclear power plants has one more week to get enough petition signatures. They need nearly 260,000 valid signatures to put the law before voters next year.  

But supporters of the bailout are waging an unrelenting fight to stop that. 

The pro-bailout Ohioans For Energy Security has been urging people not to sign petitions that would put the bailout on the ballot – first with ads and mailers linking the campaign to China, and now targeting the people who’ve been hired to gather signatures. 

photo of people signing House Bill 6 referendum petitions
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Attorney General is looking into allegations that a nuclear bailout group is trying to pay off petitioners and to buy the signatures they've gathered.

Gene Pierce said he keeps seeing a decline in hired petition circulators. He said one day they’ll work for his anti-bailout group, gathering signatures to put the law before voters. And they'll disappear the next.

a photo of woman gathering signatures in support of referendum on energy bill
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Attorney General Dave Yost says the campaign around the nuclear bailout referendum is getting "ugly." Petitioners say they've experienced aggression and intimidation by trackers paid to support the subsidies to Ohio’s two nuclear plants.

Yost says he wants this kind of intimidation reported to his office so they can investigate. 

Circulators gathering signatures to put the bailout on the ballot are being followed by trackers paid by the dark money group Generation Now.

Perry nuclear power plant seen from the south
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The drive to halt the new law that bails out Ohio’s two nuclear power plants and put it before voters next year is running up against a high profile blitz to shut it down.

Each side is expected to be spending at least $3 million – to gather signatures, or on ads and fliers. Spokespeople for both sides discussed their thoughts on  the campaign.

photo of carbon emissions
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Working to support wind and solar has become almost standard in states nationwide. Some are even phasing out coal, but not Ohio. It recently passed a law doubling down on subsidies for power plants.  

a photo of the Ohio House of Representatives
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio House has voted in favor of the sweeping energy bill, HB6, that bails out two nuclear power plants through $150 million in ratepayer subsidies.