Ohio Senate and House concurred on HB 6 in a 51 – 38 vote today, which means a new energy tax on Ohio electric customers and a step back for clean energy in the state.
The controversial nuclear and coal bailout legislation also cuts energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. HB 6 increases customer bills to bail out two uneconomic, 1950s era coal plants — one of which isn’t even in Ohio — and bails out FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants.
HB 6 also cuts the state’s 12.5% renewable energy standard and will phase out the energy efficiency standard.
“While the rest of the nation is adding jobs left and right from one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, Ohio is sending a clear signal to the clean energy sector that they are not welcome in the state,” commented Daniel
“HB 6 is irresponsible economic policy. And if this mess of a bill passes, the rest of the nation will be looking closely at Ohio’s statehouse trying to understand the motivations for a bill that is so far out of line with what is happening everywhere else,” he added.
Neil Waggoner, Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in Ohio, agreed. “With HB 6, Ohioans get dirtier air, higher electric bills, and the understanding that the majority of their elected officials at the Statehouse are more concerned with making a bankrupt company happy, and helping out other utility companies for their foolish investments in failing coal plants, than taking care of their own constituents,” he said.
Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), also commented: “At a time when the nation is accelerating its transition to affordable, pollution-free renewable power, this legislation goes in precisely the wrong direction with a bailout of aging and uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, and a weakening of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. On behalf of our hundreds of member companies, we urge Governor DeWine to veto this bill and support the $11 billion in economic opportunity that renewable power presents for the state of Ohio.”
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