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Ohio Senate struggles to revise nuclear subsidy bill amid intense political maneuvering

The Capital building in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

COLUMBUS — “After nearly three months of committee hearings in the Ohio House and Senate, legislation crafted to subsidize two nuclear power plants while scrapping renewable energy mandates and energy efficiency programs is so bollixed that lawmakers Monday were struggling to write a new bill.

Republican Senate leadership is aiming to unveil a substitute bill by this Wednesday or Thursday to replace House Bill 6, which was introduced by House GOP leaders in early April as a “clean air” bill and significantly altered 18 times following committee hearings before its passage by the House as Sub HB 6 on May 29.

…The tough political maneuvering involved in this week’s last-minute creation of an acceptable compromise bill comes as senators are seeing two new analytical reports predicting that passage of the legislation as written would drastically drive up Ohio power prices and potentially drive out new manufacturing to states south of Ohio where power prices would be lower.

The latter conclusion comes from Ohio State University economist Edward Hill who delivered his analysis to the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Monday for its fifth hearing on the bill set for today.

Previous studies by Hill and other academic economists have shown that customer electric bills in Ohio have increased over the last decade even as competition has driven down wholesale electric rates.”

— John Funk, Utility Dive

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