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Nuclear Bailout Opponents Can Begin Collecting Signatures For Referendum

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The group fighting against Ohio's nuclear bailout law, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, recieved approval from the Ohio Secretary of State on their initial filing records which means they have seven weeks to collect 265,774 signatures.

It's possible Ohio voters could start seeing volunteers and paid workers out with clipboards collecting signatures for their referendum petition.

They’re working toward a ballot issue that would overturn House Bill 6, which will add new monthly charges on electric bills to bail out nuclear power plants and subsidize coal plants.

But supporters of the new law are urging voters to not sign the petition, saying the bailout saves a large amount of non-carbon emitting nuclear power, along with about 4,000 permanent and seasonal jobs.

The new energy law would:

  • Create a new $0.85/month on electric bills; this generates $150M/year in nuclear power subsidies and $20M/year in solar farm subsidies
  • Allows a charge of up to $1.50/month on electric bills to subsidize two coal plants owned by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation
  • Weakens renewable energy requirements for utilities
  • Eliminates energy efficiency requirements for utilities.

The deadline to collect the signatures is October 21, a day before the law is set to take effect.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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.