House Passes Energy Bailout

On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives voted 53-43 to approve House Bill 6, legislation that would create substantial, ratepayer-financed subsidies to Ohio’s nuclear power plants. The measure now goes to the Ohio Senate, which is expected to commence hearings next week, underscoring the bill’s high priority status.

The OMA continues to oppose HB 6.

Preceding this week’s vote by the full House, additional amendments were made by the House Rules Committee, an unusual step. The OMA issued a key vote alert to lawmakers, urging opposition to the bill. In the end, Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) won passage. Seventeen Republicans voted against the bill, while 10 Democrats voted for the bailout package.

According to a profitability analysis conducted by the OMA, it is estimated that HB 6 will result in an annual profit of $176 million to the hedge fund owners of the nuclear facilities — and more than $1 billion over the life of the bill. The analysis raises the question as to why the State of Ohio would want to overpay by such a large sum to keep the plants open. The OMA’s estimates were based on PJM market monitor data and are conservative — especially if the plants are profitable, as another study suggests (see separate story). 5/30/2019