Ohio lawmaker reintroduces bill to repeal nuke plant bailout

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FILE – This April 4, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. A nuclear plant bailout law should be repealed immediately, Democratic members of the Ohio House announced Wednesday, July 22, 2020, as a bribery scandal involving one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers unfolded over the law’s passage. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A bill to repeal a bailout of two aging nuclear power plants at the heart of a federal $60 million bribery probe has been re-introduced in the Ohio House by its Republican sponsor.

The legislation known as HB6 was signed into law by GOP Gov. Mike DeWine in 2019. The Justice Department accused five individuals including former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use in exchange for passing the law and then derailing an attempt to place a rejection of the bailout on the ballot.

Two of those five have pleaded guilty and a plea deal has also been reached with a nonprofit that authorities believe was used to funnel payments from the scheme.

State Rep. Laura Lanese, a Republican from Grove City in suburban Columbus, introduced a repeal bill last week similar to the one she introduced last year. That died after some fellow Republicans in the GOP-controlled House disagreed on whether a repeal was necessary.

“A full repeal of House Bill 6 would protect consumers from predatory pricing, restore our renewable energy policy, and instill public confidence in the legislative process,” Lanese said in a statement.

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