OHIO – Today Mike DeWine signed into law House bill 6 a bill designed to preserve Ohio’s Nuclear plants. Failing to pass this bill would result in loss of jobs, higher energy bills, and increase in air pollution from coal plants, but in turn will add new fees to Ohio electric bills for the bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions in northern Ohio.
“Our goal all along has been to save the nuclear plants, save the jobs but also to keep the cost of energy down for the ratepayer,” DeWine said, “I think House Bill 6 does that.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, a fee would be tacked onto Ohioans’ electric bills of 85 cents a month for residential customers. That would raise about $150 million a year for two nuclear plants outside Toledo and Cleveland owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, which has filed for bankruptcy. Without help from state lawmakers, the plants are slated to close by 2021.
Not all Representatives were for the bill saying, “We cannot save one group of jobs on the backs of another,” said Rep. Sedrick Denson.
And clean energy Bill Stanley, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio said“HB 6 is a step back from what we have currently in statute for the clean energy standards. This is not a comprehensive energy bill. Instead, this bill compromises successful policies that have supported renewable energy and energy efficiency to provide a legislative vehicle for a nuclear and coal bailout. This legislation does not address the much-needed long-term comprehensive energy policy that Ohioans support to help achieve a low-carbon future. The Nature Conservancy is prepared to help the General Assembly and the administration create an inclusive approach to Ohio’s energy policy. Investment is more likely to happen if Ohio has a comprehensive energy policy that creates an equal playing field for all energy sources. The market likes data-driven decisions and predictability and our current on-again/off-again energy policy does not provide either of those.”