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House Democrats Say Ohio Nuclear Bailout Repeal Is Taking Too Long

Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) says the repeal process of the Ohio Nuclear bailout should occur immediately.
Ohio House
Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) says the repeal process of the Ohio Nuclear bailout should occur immediately.

The Ohio House is planning another hearing on a potential repeal of HB6, the legislation that brought big changes to Ohio energy laws and bailed out two nuclear power plants. Opponents of HB6 are growing frustrated with the process saying it should be repealed now.

HB6 is at the center of a $60 million federal corruption investigation involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford). House Republican leadership and Gov. Mike DeWine have expressed support for a full repeal of HB6.

However, state Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) said the hearings in a House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight are beginning to look like a "dog and pony show."

"What we at least owe it to everyone who lives here in Ohio. We owe it to the ratepayers to look back at what we did and say 'let's scrap that and start over fresh.' We've got that opportunity to do it and I don't know why we wouldn't be taking advantage of it," Denson said.

Republican House Speaker Bob Cupp said HB6 is complicated and believes these hearings are needed to understand the impact of a repeal.

"And to do something in a hasty and reckless manner is totally inappropriate," Cupp said to a group of reporters on September 1.

But Denson said the legislature should simply repeal the bill now, then begin deeper conversations about how to address Ohio's energy laws.

"For the life of me, now that we figured out all the games, in my opinion, that had been played through House Bill 6, why would we want to be on the hook and/or in the position to look as though we're not moving in the direction of, at least, disassociating ourselves with something that we've just learned," Denson said.

The House Select Committee is scheduled to hold another hearing on Wednesday. Groups set to deliver testimony include Industrial Energy Users, Ohio Manufacturers' Association, Ohio Energy Group, and the office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel.

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.