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Columbus Times-Dispatch: Column: House Bill 6 is an even bigger scam than Ohioans might think

Posted by JR Tolbert on Sep 1, 2020

Columbus Times-Dispatch published AEE's J.R. Tolbert's perspective on the Ohio bribery scandal that resulted in passage of HB 6, a bill that actually hurts ratepayers. Read excerpts below and the entire Columbus Times-Dispatch piece here. 

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder has been indicted for allegedly employing insidious tactics to jam through House Bill 6, the corrupt energy legislation that serves as his legacy, in order to reward his political benefactors at FirstEnergy with a $1.5 billion bailout. In the scandal’s aftermath, the bill’s sponsors, the new House speaker and even the governor who signed it into law have called for its repeal. They cite the corrupt and illegal activities leading to its passage...

Bribery notwithstanding, the HB 6 scandal is more offensive than has been alleged. The legislation was predicated on a lie constructed and repeated by Larry Householder to all Ohioans from the day the bill was introduced: “It will save you money.” In order to sell the nuclear and coal bailout, Householder spun a false narrative that eliminating Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency programs would more than offset the payouts to his friends, resulting in net savings...

Householder allowed that a corporate bailout for a bankrupt utility company might be unseemly but, he said, “at least HB 6 will reduce your utility bill...”Householder’s energy efficiency lie was even worse. Efficiency programs carried an average monthly fee of $3.36. These programs provide homeowners and small businesses with rebates and incentives to switch out aging appliances and upgrade old equipment that wastes energy. Even utilities acknowledge these programs are extremely popular because they save customers piles of money.

In fact, utilities report savings of $2.60 for every dollar invested, for an average monthly savings of $7.71 per customer, resulting in cumulative savings of over $7 billion since 2009. Further, programs that cut energy waste don’t just save money for the customers who take direct advantage of them, they also reduce demand for electricity system wide, putting downward pressure on electric rates. If your neighbor reduces energy waste, you save money too. Householder only counted the cost side of the efficiency equation, then bragged that HB 6 would save money for working families...

Newly installed House Speaker Bob Cupp and his colleagues in the General Assembly have a duty to right this wrong and repeal HB 6 immediately. Only then can Ohio have an honest dialogue about energy that reflects the values of our state and puts the sad chapter of HB 6 behind us.

Read the entire Columbus Times-Dispatch piece here. 

Topics: United In The News