FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy / Ohio Utility Bailouts

HB 6, the Ohio nuclear bailout bill, is a bad bill, but it can be made better: editorial

“Here’s what lawmakers should do to make the bill less bad:

*Retain both Ohio’s renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards.

*Revise Ohio energy policy to its pre-2014 status, when renewable-energy standards favored in-Ohio production, and wind-energy development wasn’t handicapped by deal-killing, over-the-top setback rules crowbarred into an unrelated 2014 bill by a Senate panel that ‘did not allow for any public testimony on [the setback],’ as a legal challenge alleges.

*Fully and clearly disclose consumers’ additional costs. HB 6 is unclear on other costs the bill may let utilities charge Ohio consumers for energy efficiency and peak demand reduction. ‘Given the uncertainty, [we do] not have an estimate for this potential new charge,’ the usually omniscient Legislative Budget Office reported. A bill that doesn’t spell out all charges Ohio electricity consumers may face is a bill that shouldn’t pass.

*Renew the Third Frontier bond program and restore its focus on advanced energy innovation.

*Kill an outrageous giveaway slipped into the proposed 2019-21 state budget. The amendment could bloat the profits of FirstEnergy’s Ohio Edison unit. House GOP leaders might care to consider what such a profits amendment says to Ohioans being asked to shore up Perry and Davis-Besse.”

— Editorial Board, and The Plain Dealer

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