House Bill 6

Perry Nuclear Power Generation Station
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

This week brought a close to one chapter for Ohio's nuclear power plant bailout law, House Bill 6. But another could be starting. The group fighting against the bailout mounted a last minute push for signatures and their campaign could be heading to a new arena.

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

A federal judge has rejected the request from the anti-nuclear power plant bailout group to have more time to collect signatures. The group was trying to put the controversial law up for a vote on next year's ballot. 

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts already missed the deadline and did not collect enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the nuclear bailout law.

A photo of a worker gathering signatures on a petition
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The anti-nuclear bailout group argued in federal court Tuesday that they should get an extension to their petition drive. They say Ohio law restricts their constitutional rights to hold a referendum. But state lawyers blame the referendum effort of being full of bad business decisions.

photo of House Bill 6 petitioners
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Petitioners are giving one last push into the drive that would put Ohio's nuclear bailout law before voters. The referendum effort must file enough valid signatures by Monday afternoon in order to qualify for next year's ballot.

Opponents of the law said it's a corporate bailout for FirstEnergy Solutions. They're also against the coal subsidies and the cuts to green energy policies. That's why they want to put the law on the ballot for a potential repeal.

a photo of people signing petition
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

There is yet another group jumping into the fray over Ohio's nuclear bailout law. Protect Ohio Clean Energy Jobs is fighting to save the $1 billion in subsidies meant for FirstEnergy Solutions. The group is taking an uncommon approach.

Protect Ohio Clean Energy Jobs said voters are being deceived by anti-nuclear bailout petitioners, so they're using targeted ads on social media urging people who have already signed the HB6 referendum to take their names off the petition. The group's treasurer lobbies for FirstEnergy Solutions, which runs the nuclear plants.

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

The controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC almost a decade ago helped bring hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns – and the groups that get some of it don’t have to disclose where it came from. Dark money gets a lot of attention at the federal level, but it’s hard at work in Ohio right now.

The proposal to overturn the state’s new nuclear power plant bailout isn’t even on the ballot. But the group that’s gathering signatures to put it there has launched its first ad.

a photo of Frank LaRose
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An effort to circulate petitions to repeal the nuclear bailout law known as House Bill 6 has brought out a high-profile opposition campaign with ads and mailers. And despite repeated calls to reveal their donors, neither the bailout's supporters nor the group that wants to overturn the law has said where they're getting their money.  One top state official said he thinks something needs to be done to change that.

Ballot efforts typically ramp up in the weeks before an election. The fight over Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law, though, is in full swing more than a year before a possible vote.

So why the early start? One side says it’s to keep two nuclear power plants from closing, while experts say spending now may be the best investment.

photo of Perry nuclear power plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

A group is gathering signatures to put a rejection of Ohio's nuclear bailout law on next year's ballot. National environmental groups are weighing in on the debate, saying the energy policy overhaul takes Ohio in the opposite direction of most other states. 

photo of Perry Nuclear Plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

The group fighting against Ohio's nuclear bailout law can officially begin collecting signatures to put a referendum on next year's ballot. But they face a steep uphill climb, having to collect more than 265,000 signatures in seven weeks.

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts got the final approval they needed from the secretary of state to send volunteers and paid workers out to collect signatures from voters.

photo of someone signing a petition
STEVE ESTVANIK / SHUTTERSTOCK

The battle lines have been drawn for the fight over Ohio's new energy law.

A ballot group is looking to collect signatures statewide to ask voters to overturn the law that bails out nuclear power plants. But a new group has formed to argue in favor of the ratepayer subsidies.

Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant in Ottawa, Co., OH
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Ohioans are being bombarded with an ad campaign focused on an energy bill—House Bill 6—that’s being debated in the state legislature.

Who's behind the campaign and just what will HB6 do? Learn more in this conversation with Dayton Daily News reporter Laura Bischoff.

A photo of Larry Householder
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Lawmakers in the Ohio House continue to debate a bill that would bail out the state’s two financially struggling nuclear power plants. Earlier this week, some Democrats walked out of a committee hearing, saying their concerns were not being heard. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.

Speaker Larry Householder says he talked to Democrats and the Republican committee chair overseeing the hearing. And Householder says they all came to an agreement that would allow the process to move forward. But he says it’s taking some time to come to agreement on the legislation.