Nuclear Subsidy Repeal Nears Finish Line

While the investigation continues into the $60 million racketeering scandal tied to House Bill 6, the legislation is being dismantled less than two years after its enactment. In a move that captured even national press, the Ohio Senate this week voted unanimously to approve House-passed legislation that will repeal HB 6’s roughly $150 million in annual, customer-funded nuclear generation subsides. House Bill 128, which has the OMA’s support, has been sent to Gov. Mike DeWine for his consideration.

Provisions of HB 128 are similar to earlier Senate-approved legislation: Senate Bill 44 to repeal the nuke subsidies and Senate Bill 10 to repeal HB 6’s decoupling mechanism. In addition to ending the nuclear subsidies and reversing HB 6’s decoupling changes, HB 128 will also repeal past budget language that modified the “significantly excessive earnings test” (SEET).

Gongwer News Service reports, “Although the nuclear debate appears close to its finish, debate over other components of HB 6 are likely to continue with legislation pending to examine other aspects of the law,” including OVEC subsidies. The OMA has opposed HB 6 since its introduction in 2019 — and continues to advocate for the repeal of its subsidies, including for OVEC.

House Speaker Bob Cupp told reporters Thursday that Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) has pledged to hold hearings on the remaining HB 6 issues, including OVEC. 3/25/2021