Legislators Telegraph Intentions on Power Plant Bailouts

During inaugural meetings of standing House committees this week, we got a glimpse of what is coming down the pike. Statehouse observers believe a legislative proposal is forthcoming that would bailout the uneconomic nuclear power plants in Lake and Ottawa Counties.

Lawmakers on three separate House panels will likely touch the proposal. Rep Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) and Rep. Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) co-chair a subcommittee on Energy Generation. The pair confirmed that preserving the nuclear power plants is a priority. Rep. Stein also expressed support for molten salt, thorium nuclear reactors.

House Energy Committee Chair Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) was quoted in Statehouse news media as saying, “We seriously have to look at generation and the mix of what Ohio’s doing.” And, “We’ve had some brownout situations. We’ve had some issues with PJM Interconnection in terms of how we’re putting energy into that. One of the key issues for our state is if we’re an energy producer it helps attract business to the state because our rates will be lower and it also helps your average citizen.”

Meanwhile, House Public Utilities Committee Chair Jamie Callender (R-Concord) indicated that nuclear bailout legislation could come to his committee or to the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, and that wind setbacks will also be a likely subject for legislative reform. In an interview following the committee meeting, he expressed concern that Ohio doesn’t produce enough power to meet its own needs while conceding the region enjoys a surplus of electricity. 2/14/2019