This week, Governor Mike DeWine signed the end of a billion dollars in fees that Ohio electricity tariff payers would have paid to support the state’s two nuclear power plants. This new bill effectively takes the nuclear bailout out of the energy bill known as House Bill 6, which was passed in 2019.
But the legislature may not be able to cope with this measure.
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said getting rid of nuclear subsidies was – in his words – the easy part of dealing with House Bill 6.
In an interview for The State of Ohio earlier this week, Huffman said he was fairly certain that eliminating energy efficiency programs run by utilities and reducing the need for renewable energy on utilities will not restore where utilities are they were bill 6 before they were admitted to House.
“Subsidizing various companies for energy efficiency programs or other types of energy. In my mind, and that’s in the mind of Matt Huffman, these things are not coming back, “Huffman said.
Fees for all interest payers’ bills were due to begin charging in January, but a stay on a lawsuit brought by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost prevented these fees.
Huffman said there will be discussions on bills to cut subsidies of $ 20 million for two coal-fired power plants and six solar projects, which are also included in the energy bill.
This bill is at the center of the $ 60 million bribery scandal that federal prosecutors said involved former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder, former Ohio Republican Party leader Matt Borges, and late lobbyist Neil Clark. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty, as has a dark money group. The case also involves a utility company widely believed to be FirstEnergy under investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, David DeVillers, said COVID has suspended litigation, meaning it will take longer than usual to resolve these high-profile cases.