After the nuclear bailout is lifted, Ohio lawmakers may have additional changes to the energy bill

Last week, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill to end the $ 1 billion 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 abolishing nuclear subsidies was, in his words, the easy part of dealing with House Bill 6.

In an interview for The State of Ohio, Huffman said he was fairly certain that HB6’s elimination of energy efficiency programs run by utilities and the reduction in the need for renewable energy on utilities cannot be brought back to normal .

“Subsidizing various companies for energy efficiency programs or other types of energy,” he said, “in my eyes, and this is in the mind of Matt Huffman, these things are not coming back.”

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.

HB6 is at the center of the $ 60 million bribery scandal involving former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder, former Ohio Republican Party leader Matt Borges, and late lobbyist Neil Clark, according to federal prosecutors. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty, as has the dark money group Generation Now.

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, who led the investigation before stepping down at the request of the Biden government, said COVID has suspended the lawsuit, which means it will take longer than usual a solution will be found in these high-profile cases.

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