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Rep. Robinson applauds passage of consumer protection bill; renews call for full repeal of HB 6

Says legislation a step in the right direction, but full repeal still needed to undo damage of tainted HB 6
March 10, 2021
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) issued a statement Wednesday on the passage of House Bill (HB) 128, legislation to repeal parts of HB 6 from the 133rd General Assembly (GA). HB 6 was a multi-billion dollar corporate bailout at the center of the largest alleged public racketeering and bribery scheme in Ohio history. Former Republican Speaker Larry Householder and several close associates were paid millions to pass HB 6 and stop a referendum on the law.

“As someone who opposed HB 6 from the beginning and voted against it before we knew about the $60 million bribery scandal and racketeering case surrounding its passage, I’m disappointed we could not fully repeal the bill, but this is at least a start,” said Rep. Robinson. “We still need to return Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard and energy efficiency programs, which HB 6 scrapped to handicap FirstEnergy’s alternative, clean energy competitors. These standards and programs helped Ohio rank eighth in the country and third in the region in the clean energy sector, with over 112,000 Ohioans employed in the industry. Without a full repeal, the remaining provisions of HB 6 still support and benefit FirstEnergy, continuing the corruption around this bill.”

HB 128 would eliminate subsidies for the Ohio-based Energy Harbor nuclear plants and the associated ratepayer fees, and remove financial benefits that enabled FirstEnergy to implement a decoupling mechanism and earn significantly excessive profits. Additionally, the bill would keep $20 million a year in subsidies for previously approved solar projects, a Democratic priority.

Democrats, while supportive of the bill, said HB 128 is just the first step toward undoing the damage caused by HB 6, and renewed calls for a vote on the full repeal of the controversial law. 

Today’s call for a full repeal is just the latest from House Democrats, who have urged on multiple occasions for the repeal of HB 6. They have also introduced a number of bills to repeal parts or all of the law. 

Democrats offered multiple amendments on the floor Wednesday that they said would improve HB 128, including:

·         Repealing remaining HB 6 provisions except for the subsidies for certain solar projects, and to reinstate state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards and energy efficiency benchmarks that have saved consumers billions of dollars in reduced rates.

·         Repealing subsidies to two coal-fired power plants operated by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), one of which is in Indiana.

Republicans rejected the amendments. 

After passing the House, HB 128 moves to the Senate for consideration.