COLUMBUS – State Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) gave sponsor testimony on House Bill 18 in the House Public Utilities Committee last week. House Bill 18 will fully repeal House Bill 6 from the 133rd General Assembly.
"We must quickly and fully repeal HB 6 because the passage of the bill is so intertwined with the largest bribery scandal in state history, because FES/Energy Harbor never demonstrated the need for the money and finally because we should not be picking winners and losers in a regulated industry in the State,” Lanese said. “We have caused too many innocent parties to bear the brunt of the cost of the bill at a time when they can least afford it.”
Lanese introduced the same legislation, House Bill 746, in the 133rd General Assembly, following the House Bill 6 corruption scandal in the summer of 2020. The legislation had four committee hearings in the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight with 20 cosponsors and hours of testimony in support of the legislation.
Lanese concluded, “We need to demonstrate to Ohioans that we care about good energy policy and ensuring that our rate payers don’t overpay for their utilities. We need to bury HB 6 so deep into the ground that it doesn’t contaminate our reputation. A straight repeal will go a long way in helping to restore trust in the legislative process.”
In December 2020, a Franklin County judge granted a temporary injunction to stop customer fees from being collected for the $150 million annual subsidy to Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. Additionally, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that his office reached an agreement with FirstEnergy Corp. to stop the collection of a guaranteed profit subsidy included in House Bill 6, a big win for consumers and for the economy. Because these actions aren’t permanent, Lanese says a full repeal is still necessary to stop the effects of the tainted bill and to begin to work on a comprehensive energy policy.