Group plans referendum on 'bailout' bill

Larry Limpf

A partner in the firm that developed natural gas-fired electricity generation facilities in the City of Oregon has announced he plans to help get a referendum on the ballot in Ohio to overturn House Bill 6 – legislation that is seen by opponents as a bailout of nuclear plants operated by FirstEnergy Solutions.
“Job 1 is to complete a referendum and kill HB 6,” William Siderewicz, said by email Thursday.
A political action committee, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, filed with the Ohio Secretary of State on July 23.
The committee listed its address as 8913 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd., West Chester, OH.
Siderewicz, who is a founder and president of Clean Energy Future, LLC, said he is a contributing member of the OACB.
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill Tuesday. It would subsidize the state’s nuclear and coal power plants.
Under the bill, electricity customers would pay a new monthly surcharge but a charge that goes to a renewable-energy and energy-efficiency program would be phased out, resulting in a net savings for residential ratepayers.
The bill received bi-partisan support from local representatives and senators.
In the House, Democrats Michael Sheehy and Lisa Sobecki voted for it as did Republican Haraz Ghanbari.
In the Senate, Teresa Fedor, a Democrat, and Republican Teresa Gavorone supported the bill.
Representative Sobekci said economic factors figured into her decision to support it.
“HB 6 will protect thousands of good paying, union jobs and save consumers money on their monthly utility bills,” she said. “Passage of HB 6 tells those hardworking men and women employed at Ohio’s nuclear power plants, including Davis-Besse, they can work hard, get ahead and build a life where they can retire with safety and security. I heard from constituents across my district and cast my vote for them because I work for them. That is my Ohio Promise.”
But a wide range of organizations offered opponent testimony while the bill was still in committee, including environmental groups, municipalities and the Ohio Manufacturing Association.
FirstEnergy Solutions announced in 2018 it planned to deactivate the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station by May 2020. The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry Ohio is scheduled to be deactivated by May 2021 and units 1 and 2 of the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa. are to be deactivated by May 2021 and October 2021 respectively.
The company said the closings would be necessary if there wasn’t financial relief from the state.


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