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Ohio taxpayers still on the hook for largest corruption scandal in state history

Republicans block latest Democratic efforts to repeal HB 6 coal subsidies
May 18, 2022
Jeffrey A. Crossman News

COLUMBUS—State Reps. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Jeffrey A. Crossman (D-Parma) issued a statement today after House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) refused to recognize two Democratic floor amendments that would repeal the coal subsidies created by House Bill (HB) 6, the corrupt, billion dollar nuclear bailout bill. 

Ohioans continue to pay $287,000 every single day for subsidies that bail out an out-of-state coal plant and are tied to the largest public corruption scandal in state history. The subsidies are estimated to cost Ohioans up to $1.8 billion by 2030.

Rep. Crossman’s amendment would have prohibited utilities from using revenue collected from customers under the Ohio Valley Electric Corp. (OVEC)  provisions of HB 6 for an OVEC facility located outside the state.

The amendment would have also required PUCO to conduct an annual audit to ensure ratepayer money isn’t be used for an out-of-state plant, as well as require refunds to customers if the audit determines ratepayer money was, in fact, used for an out-of-state plant.

“We had a chance to adopt legislation to find out how much our state is paying to fund a power plant in Indiana that doesn't employ Ohio workers, nor fund energy to Ohio. The Speaker refused to give time to this discussion at the cost of our taxpayers. HB6 is costing Ohioans $287,000 every day, and quite frankly, I'm tired of Ohio's workers having to foot the bill for corrupt politicians in Columbus who do the bidding of powerful corporations instead of working for Ohioans,” said Rep. Crossman.

Rep. Weinstein’s amendment would have repealed the OVEC provisions of HB 6 and require refunds to customers who paid the charges. It would have also prohibited PUCO from approving future OVEC cost recovery.

“We’re almost at the two year anniversary from when Ohioans found out about the historic corruption behind HB 6, but Ohio ratepayers are still paying nearly $12,000 every day to prop up outdated and polluting coal plants,” said Rep. Weinstein. “We owe it to Ohio energy consumers to guarantee that their hard-earned dollars are being spent responsibly and in their best interests. We had an opportunity to come together today to end this horrible policy, but once again, Republicans refused to act.”

The blocked amendments mark the latest efforts by House Democrats to ensure Ohio taxpayers are not footing the bill for this corrupt, corporate bailout.