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HB6 Opponents Say Poll Shows Little Public Support For Nuclear Bailout Law

Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.

A group calling for the repeal of Ohio's nuclear bailout law says they have public opinion on their side. The coalition of organizations against HB6 says polling shows little support for the legislation at the center of a federal corruption investigation.

TheCoalition to Restore Public Trust – a group of environmentalists, government watchdogs and energy producers – is advocating for HB6 to be repealed following the federal indictment of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others over an alleged $60 million racketeering scheme.

The coalition asked Clout Researchfor a survey on support for HB6. Pollster Fritz Wenzel says the results show a majority of voters wouldn't support a legislator who voted in favor of the bailout.  

"That just screams that it doesn't matter what the value of the policy is, whether it's good public policy anyway," Wenzel says. "Voters don't like it." 

The poll found 80% of respondents supported some sort of repeal of HB6, with 44% calling for an outright repeal.

Supporters of HB6 argue the law, which creates subsidies for nuclear, coal and solar while cutting renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates, is still good policy, despite the controversial process. They also argue that the bill saves jobs at Ohio's two nuclear plants and protects zero-carbon-emitting energy generation.

Repeal advocates say lawmakers should scrap the law and go back to the drawing board on energy policy that deals with those issues. Both the Ohio House and Senate have begun hearingson how to repeal and possibly replace HB6, which Gov. Mike DeWine says he supports.

Householder and his alleged associates have all pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering charges.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.