© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WOSP-FM in Portsmouth is operating at reduced power. In the meantime, listen online or with the WOSU mobile app.

Ohio House Fails To Take Any Action On Nuclear Bailout Law

Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) speaks to reporters on September 1, 2020.
Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio
Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) speaks to reporters on September 1, 2020.

Ohio House Republican leadership says 2020 will end without  a vote on any proposal to change HB6. With no delays or repeal, the law stays in place despite being connected to the largest alleged bribery scandal in Ohio history.

When it comes to HB6, the nuclear bailout law connected to a racketeering investigation, House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has gone from saying the House will find a way to repeal and/or replace the law, to wanting more discussion on the issue, to saying the House ran out of time to come to a consensus.

That was in the span of five months. Now it appears the House will finish the legislative session without making a single change to HB6.

Cupp says he wants to revisit the issue in the new year.

HB6 creates new charges on electric bills for a $1 billion nuclear power plant bailout, in addition to subsidizing coal plants and scrapping the state's green energy standards. But federal investigators allege the bailout is the result of quid-pro-quo between a utility alleged to be FirstEnergy and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

Two defendants have pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges, saying the scheme pumped $60 million into a dark money group to help Householder get elected if he passed HB6 in return. Householder has pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Chris Brown granted a preliminary injunction to halt Energy Harbor, formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions, from collecting increased fees from ratepayers.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, along with the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati, had sued to stop those provisions of the energy law from going into effect next month.

In their lawsuit, the cities of Columbus and Cincinnati argued that HB6 amounted to an unconstitutional lending of state credit to a private entity.

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.