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Misguided energy bill threatens Ohio jobs, says Weinstein

May 29, 2019
Casey Weinstein News

House Democratic lawmakers today largely voted against House Bill (HB) 6, legislation to bail out several energy corporations and all but eliminate energy efficiency and renewable energy standards in Ohio.

“HB 6 moves us in the wrong direction. It does nothing to secure and protect existing jobs or grow new ones,” said Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “Democrats were committed to working together to find common ground, but we were unable to strike a compromise that grows jobs, promotes home-grown energy generation and safeguards the health of the people of Ohio.”

Democrats offered a number of amendments including a provision that would keep clean air program funding within the state. All were rejected.

“HB 6 forces taxpayers to prop up out-of-state corporations instead of investing in a clean energy future here in Ohio,” said Rep. Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati). “We want to ensure Ohio energy is generated in Ohio. Discouraging investment in Ohio companies and Ohio technologies isn’t the way to grow jobs or our economy.”

HB 6 would force Ohio ratepayers to pay millions of dollars to bail out a failing coal-burning power plant in Indiana over the next decade.

Democrats also introduced an amendment to increase transparency and ensure protections for workers.

“HB 6 falls short of providing all the security measures necessary to protect jobs and provide accountability for the plants that Ohioans will now be subsidizing,” said Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus).

In addition, Democrats offered amendments to strengthen the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio and keep energy efficiency standards, which were gutted under the bill.

“My constituents didn’t send me to Columbus to preserve the status quo, but to fight for a clean energy future,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson). “We need to let Ohio lead, and that begins with an all-of-the-above energy portfolio. HB 6 falls far short and sends us in the exact wrong direction.”

After passing the House, HB 6 moves to the Senate for consideration.