Group wants “workable” replacement for HB 6

Larry Limpf

A resolution passed by the Ottawa County Improvement Corp. emphasizes the detrimental economic impact the repeal of House Bill 6 would have on the state and county without a “vetted and workable” replacement bill.
Members of the OCIC’s executive board passed the resolution unanimously and forwarded it to members of the state legislature.
“Given the events of the past couple of months, we as an organization felt it was important to remind citizens and our elected officials of the original intent of HB 6. The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station plays a significant role in the State of Ohio and here in Ottawa County,” said Ken Williams, president of the OCIC. “The facility not only provides valuable jobs and critical revenue to our local communities and schools, but it is also a key component of addressing our state’s current and future energy needs.”
The bill, passed in 2019, provides subsidies for nuclear plants operated by then First Energy Solutions, now Energy Harbor.
“It is essential for a state our size to possess a comprehensive energy strategy and ensure our energy independence for the foreseeable future,” said Chris Singerling, director of the OCIC. “That strategy is not complete without the inclusion of our largest producer of carbon-free power. We would be doing the citizens and businesses of Ohio a tremendous disservice by closing these facilities. We are confident the public and our elected leaders across the state understand these important points and will take them into consideration as the legislative process plays out in Columbus.”
Critics called the bill little more than a bailout for nuclear plants and attempted to organize a ballot initiative to have it repealed. The initiative never made it to the ballot but a repeal seems imminent in the wake of a federal investigation that alleges about $60 million was funneled through Generation Now, an entity formed as a 501(c)(4) organization, from what the federal complaint calls “an energy company and its affiliates.”
According to the complaint, from March 2017 to March 2020, the enterprise received millions of dollars in exchange for assistance from former Speaker of the House of Representatives Larry Householder and associates in passing HB 6. The defendants then also allegedly worked to ensure HB 6 went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation.
A select committee of the Ohio House of Representatives has held hearings on two bills that would repeal HB 6 and a Senate committee has also held repeal hearings.
In August, commissioners in Ottawa and Lake counties approved a resolution similar to the OCIC resolution.


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