COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohioans’ electric bills will not be going up in January because of a surcharge related to the bailout of two nuclear power plants that is at the center of a $60 million bribery scandal.
Judge Chris Brown of Franklin County Common Pleas Court issued a preliminary injunction Monday blocking collection of the fees, which was to start Jan. 1.
The surcharge was related to House Bill 6, a billion-dollar law that included money for two Ohio nuclear power plants in an effort to keep them open.
This summer, five people were charged in a $60 million bribery scandal to pass the bill, and two have since reached plea deals. One of the others charged was former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.
Legislation to stop the collection of the fees has yet to pass, leading Columbus and Cincinnati officials to sue to block their collection.
“HB 6 was passed through deceit, deception and corruption and this decision means that Ohio ratepayers will keep their hard-earned dollars instead of paying for a massive corporate bailout,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said. “We look forward to this case moving forward and we urge the legislature to do the right thing and repeal this law.”
Attorney General Dave Yost supported their efforts.
“Today’s ruling proves that the powerful can be held accountable and that corruption will be rooted out,” Yost said. “Everybody who pays an electric bill whether for their own home or a job-sustaining manufacturer is the winner today. Your pocket will not be picked.”