August 2, 2020 Read More →

Ohio legislators: Anything less than full repeal of HB 6 fails to address slow renewable growth

Plain Press:

Both Republican and Democratic Ohio lawmakers are pushing to repeal the state’s nuclear bailout bill after this week’s release of a federal criminal complaint against House Speaker Larry Householder and others. Clean energy advocates say that would be a start, but more is needed to address eight years of lawmakers’ actions to slow the growth of renewables in the state.

The complaint alleges a $60 million bribery and conspiracy scheme that led to the passage of House Bill 6 last summer, followed by the defeat of a referendum effort to give voters a say on the bill. Amounts involved are about 20 times more than amounts that could be tracked through public documents.

HB 6 is primarily known as a “nuclear bailout” for providing six years of subsidies for the FirstEnergy Solutions/Energy Harbor nuclear power plants in Ohio totaling roughly a billion dollars, but it also gutted the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, and provided bailouts for two 1950s-era coal plants in Ohio and Indiana. 

Removing a 2014 provision that tripled property line setbacks for wind turbines “is the very first change that has to happen” after a full repeal of HB 6, said Sandy Buchanan, executive director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

“When the rules changed, it essentially froze the number of wind projects,” said IEEFA data analyst Seth Feaster. That caused communities to miss out on revenues, more financial stability, better credit ratings and indirect job benefits, he and Buchanan noted. Meanwhile, a lot of wind projects moved to other states that were more welcoming.

[Kathiann Kowalski]

More: HB 6 repeal would address only part of Ohio lawmakers’ recent actions to slow renewables

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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