COLUMBUS – State Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) re-introduced legislation that would fully repeal House Bill 6 from the 133rd General Assembly. Lanese’s proposed legislation, House Bill 18, would simply return Ohio’s energy policy to its pre-House Bill 6 days.
Lanese introduced the same legislation, House Bill 746, with Representative Greenspan in the 133rd General Assembly, following the allegations of the largest bribery scandal in the history of the State tied to the passage of House Bill 6. Lanese and Greenspan’s bill had 20 cosponsors and four committee hearings in the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight, where hours of proponent testimony were presented and not one opponent testified against it.
“House Bill 6 was unsound public policy from the start, which is why 42 of my House colleagues voted against it in the first place,” said Lanese. “And since the passage of the legislation a laundry list of legal actions has been taken to protect consumers from the detrimental consequences of HB 6 and the bribery scandal surrounding it.” Lanese continued, “A full repeal of House Bill 6 would protect consumers from predatory pricing, restore our renewable energy policy, and instill public confidence in the legislative process.”
Some of the actions taken thus far include a December 2020 temporary injunction from a Franklin County judge to stop collection of $150 million in customer fees going to the two Ohio nuclear power plants. Additionally, this week, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that his office had 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. And just today, Generation Now, a non-profit corporation, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court of Southern District of Ohio to racketeering charges in association with House Bill 6. Generation Now is the third entity to plead guilty in this case. Two other co-conspirators pleaded guilty earlier in 2020 after five co-conspirators were arrested and charged in the $60 million bribery scandal.
These are just a few of the legal actions taken in response to House Bill 6 to protect Ohio consumers, and they demonstrate the need to completely repeal this energy policy. Lanese’s newly introduced legislation, House Bill 18, will allow Ohio to start fresh in protecting ratepayers by creating a return to the laws in place prior to House Bill 6.
Lanese concluded, “After reading the U.S. District Attorney’s 81 page complaint filed in federal court and noting multiple legal actions taken to protect consumers from the fallout from this harmful public policy, there should be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that we must completely repeal this toxic legislation.”
House Bill 18 was referred to the House Public Utilities Committee and now awaits its first hearing.