HB 6 and the Road Back From Corruption
Ohioans are rightly shocked by the recent reports of corruption in the state regarding energy legislation. Central to the current scandals is HB 6, passed in 2019, which will give over $1 billion to two nuclear power plants and another $400 million to two aging coal plants owned by the three major electric utilities in Ohio.
HB 6 was always controversial. But recent events have questioned the legitimacy of the law. Both the Speaker of the Ohio House and the head of Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission (which regulates electric utilities) have had their homes raided in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme to pass HB 6. FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO, and two individuals have already pled guilty to participation in the scheme.
The revelations have understandably led to calls for the repeal of HB 6.
While repealing HB 6 is a necessary first step, Ohioans should also look at the deeper factors that have made corruption like this more likely.