LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The president of Clean Energy Future, which has a natural gas power plant in Lordstown, called the new law that led to the arrest of the Ohio House speaker “a blatant and fraudulent bailout” and “an impediment to new economic growth in Ohio.”
A group of Mahoning Valley state lawmakers is now pushing to repeal House Bill 6, which provided a billion-dollar bailout to owners of Perry and Davis-Bessie nuclear power plants. Sen. Sean O’Brien, Rep. Gil Blair and Rep. Mike O’Brien plan to introduce measures to repeal it.
One company directly affected by HB 6 was Lordstown’s Clean Energy Future, which canceled plans to build more power plants in village immediately after it became law.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors charged Republican Speaker Larry Householder with being part of a $61 million scheme to get HB 6 passed.
Bill Siderewicz, Clean Energy Future president, sent us a lengthy email with his reaction to this news.
Siderewicz said he started fighting the idea of bailing out First Energy in 2017. He said there must have been a whistle blower with a moral compass who said something because all prior bailouts of First Energy did not happen without what Siderewicz called a “puppet” in the speaker position to force the legislation through.
He said, “HB 6 was passed based on fraudulent and illegal activity. The governor should know this and speak out. It is not right to ask Ohioans to pay $550 million each year for utility bailout money for illegal actions.”
Clean Energy has one natural gas plant operating on Route 45 in Lordstown.
The two plants at the center of HB 6 are nuclear plants.
Siderewicz said he still plans to break ground on a second plant in Lordstown in December and if HB 6 is repealed, a third plant will also be built in Lordstown. Plans for the third plant were canceled when HB 6 was passed.
Siderewicz said each plant will cost $900 million to build and each will provide a thousand construction jobs for 34 months.
Some Republican lawmakers are calling for the repeal of HB 6 as well.
“I think they understand,” said Sen. Sean O’Brien (D – 32nd District). “Looking at the complaint, going through, connecting the dots — this is just a bad way to form and run government and we’re going to have to go back. The only way to restore some type of confidence is to repeal this bill and look at it again.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine said one reason he’s opposed to repealing HB 6 is because if we close the two nuclear power plants, there will not be enough electricity to keep Ohio lit.
To that, Siderewicz said, “That is the most ludicrous statement that could possibly be made by someone with a brain. The nuclear plants are taken down all the time for months at a time and the lights stay on.”
Sen. O’Brien said he will introduce his bill Thursday but it could take a couple of months for the measure to get through both chambers of the general assembly since the House is in recess until September.