Ohio’s new Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight was formed to consider repeal of last year’s controversial energy bill HB 6. As currently drafted, the bipartisan repeal bill HB 746 would restore Ohio’s energy law to the condition it was in before HB 6 was passed: that is, moving the state towards greater reliance on renewable energy, and energy conservation programs for ratepayers including religious congregations.  Here is the nonpartisan Ohio Legislative Services Committee’s analysis explaining that: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/download?key=14437&format=pdf

This article gives background and asks you to write to the Select Committee with your views. I urge you to ask the Committee to pass HB 746 to restore the credibility of the legislative process and restore an environmentally and economically sustainable energy policy that will also improve public health.

Despite an overwhelming majority of citizen testimony in opposition last year, the Ohio Legislature passed HB 6 to bill ratepayers to subsidize two nuclear plants and two coal-fired plants. The bill also halted Ohio’s renewable energy standards and phased out the energy conservation programs through which families across the state and many congregations are reducing their electricity use and bills.

This year, the FBI charged Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and three other defendants in a $61 million dollar corruption scheme that lubricated Householder’s election as Speaker and the passage of this bailout and also halted a citizen petition drive to repeal HB 6 by intimidating or bribing petition circulators.

In response to the scandal, Householder lost his position as Speaker. The new House Speaker, Bob Cuff, has created the Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight to consider repealing the bill.  Twelve of the fifteen members have received contributions from First Energy during their political career. We suggest you write a letter and send it to each member of the committee with your views on HB 746, the repeal of HB 6. You can find all the committee members here.

Many people of faith call for a complete repeal of HB 6. We see it as undermining stewardship of creation and environmental justice because it forces Ohio ratepayers to pay to subsidize fossil fuel energy generation which is already more expensive than renewable. Emissions from coal-fired plants have serious human health effects that disproportionately harm the poor who are more likely to live near the plants.

Ariel Miller, Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team, Diocese of Southern Ohio