Ratepayers will start paying in January
After the FBI indicted former House Speaker Larry Householder this summer over a $61 million dollar bribery scheme crucial to the passage of the nuclear plant bailout bill HB 6 in 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called for repeal of the tainted law, but the repeal is stranded in the Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight which he appointed to oversee it, and no vote will occur before Election Day. The Committee has not scheduled any opportunity for public testimony.
Five of the Republicans who hold a majority on the Select Committee voted for HB 6 last year. Two more Republicans on the committee were appointed to the Ohio Legislature after the bill passed. All of the Democratic minority on the Select Committee voted against HB 6.
If you want to weigh in, email the Select Committee Chair, James Hoops, at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him to copy your letter to all on the committee. Copy your letter to the Speaker of the House, Bob Cupp, at email@example.com
Since the Select Committee hasn’t, Ohio Citizen Action is organizing virtual public hearings Oct. 21, 27, and 29. You can learn more and sign up at https://www.ohiocitizen.org/testify
The Creation Care aspect is that HB 6 ends ratepayer fees that support energy efficiency programs helping households and businesses to reduce their electricity use and carbon footprint. Instead, it props up nuclear and coal-fired plants that can’t compete against cheaper renewable and natural gas generation.
The Legislature has already missed the 90-day deadline to repeal the bill before the new ratepayer charges go into effect in January.
( see more: https://www.dispatch.com/story/opinion/columns/2020/10/04/ohio-house-committee-sits-house-bill-6-repeal-legislation/5873124002/)
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has launched a lawsuit to block the nuclear bailout money from being paid out to Energy Harbor, a former First Energy subsidiary. DeWine predicted this week that repeal will move forward in the Lame Duck session, but what replaces it is far from clear. As drafted, a bipartisan repeal bill, HB 746, would cleanly repeal HB and restore Ohio’s energy law to its previous status. But many Republicans want to draft a repeal-and-replace bill and are arguing about what it should include.
Ariel Miller of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, is a social justice advocate and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team.