Nuclear subsidy opponents already working to hold referendum on Ohio House Bill 6

COLUMBUS — "To put the measure on the ballot, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts needs to collect an initial 1,000 petition signatures from registered Ohio voters within 90 days of the bill’s signing, as well as get the go-ahead from the secretary of state, attorney general, and the Ohio Ballot Board. If the group clears those hurdles, it would then need to collect an additional 265,774 petition signatures to put HB6 up for a vote.

Even if all that happens, HB6 opponents would need to raise millions of dollars to win against the bill’s well-funded backers -- such as Generation Now, a nonprofit that has spent more than $9.5 million to date on TV and radio ads in support of the legislation, according to political ad tracker Medium Buying. Generation Now’s business address is a house owned by a political adviser to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

The legislation, introduced in April, offers a $150 million-per-year bailout to Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, owned by FirstEnergy Solutions. The bill also eviscerates the state’s renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards for utilities (which ratepayers currently pay a surcharge to fund), creates publicly funded subsidies to the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation to shore up its coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Indiana, and gives $20 million per year to six solar plant projects."

— Jeremy Pelzer,

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