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Ohio Senate Committee Moves Bill Repealing HB6 Nuclear Bailout Subsidies

This Oct. 5, 2011 file photo shows the cooling tower of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Amy Sanceta
/
Associated Press
This Oct. 5, 2011 file photo shows the cooling tower of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

A measure to repeal part of Ohio's controversial nuclear power plant bailout, and stop the increase to monthly electric bills, is gaining momentum in the Ohio Senate.

The Republican-backed bill, SB44, would repeal the nuclear subsidies created through 2019's HB6. It's now on its way to a possible full Senate vote after being unanimously passed by the energy and public utilities committee.

Investigators say a utility, believed to be FirstEnergy, funneled millions of dollars to a dark money group controlled by Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford). They say Householder used those funds to become House Speaker, and in return pass FirstEnergy's legislative agenda in the form of HB6, which in part subsidized two nuclear plants formerly owned by the company.

Most Democrats and several Republicans want a full repeal of HB6, which would also have the effect of reviving green energy standards that the 2019 law eliminated. However, doing away with just the nuclear subsidies seems to be the option with the most traction.

The extra charge on electric bills to generate $150 million a year for Ohio's two nuclear power plants has been stalled through a court injunction, which will remain in place while the federal investigation continues.

Three defendants in the bribery case, including the dark money group Generation Now, have plead guilty to racketeering charges.