Jim-Hoops

State Reps. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) and Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) on Tuesday introduced legislation to repeal the nuclear and solar energy subsidy created by House Bill 6.

Stein said several changes at the federal level since the original passage of House Bill 6 in the 133rd General Assembly make the subsidy no longer necessary to maintain operations at Ohio’s two nuclear plants, Davis-Besse, in Ottawa County, and Perry, in Lake County. Those facilities are now owned by Energy Harbor.

Stein said the state continues its commitment to the employees and local governments surrounding the Energy Harbor facilities to ensure they remain a viable part of their communities.

The legislation, House Bill 128, also eliminates the decoupling provision that was part of House Bill 6. Further, it eliminates the SEET (Significant Excessive Earnings Test) provision that was included in the FY 2020-21 state budget bill. Both provisions benefited FirstEnergy. House Bill 128 calls for refunds to ratepayers for fees collected under both provisions.

“These are issues that have been the subject of much debate and I believe there’s broad consensus that these steps are sound public policy that support jobs, our economy and ratepayers,” said Hoops, whose district includes Williams and Henry counties. “The average ratepayer has already seen a decrease in their rates due to House Bill 6 and with the proposed changes in House Bill 128, customers will now see further ratepayer protections.”

The bill would also require the Ohio Power Siting Board to conduct a study on potential changes to transmission policy and costs. Hoops noted transmission costs are one of the fastest growing parts of ratepayers’ electric bills. A report to the General Assembly would be due by Dec. 1, under the bill.

The House Public Utilities Committee, which is chaired by Hoops, is expected to begin hearings on the legislation today.

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