Emily Bacha, Vice President of Public Affairs, December 21, 2020
Columbus, OH — Judge Christopher Brown of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas granted a preliminary injunction today to halt collection of nuclear subsidy fees on the electric bills of Ohioans. It is a huge victory in the fight against House Bill 6 (HB 6), Ohio’s corrupt energy legislation. The decision is a timely one, as the new nuclear subsidy fees on Ohioans’ bills were set to begin on January 1, 2021, and the Ohio General Assembly has failed to repeal, in full or in part, HB 6.
The consolidated lawsuits, one filed by the Ohio Attorney General and another by the cities of Cincinnati and Columbus, seek to block collection of fees from Ohioans because the nuclear subsidy established in HB 6 is the product of public corruption and bribery. Today’s preliminary injunction blocks the nuclear subsidy from being collected until the case can be decided on the merits. While the Court’s ruling temporarily blocks the nuclear subsidies from being collected, the suit does not address the entirety of HB 6, which repeals Ohio’s clean energy standards and gives subsidies to two coal plants, including one located in Indiana.
In response, the following quote can be attributed in full or in part to Trent Dougherty, General Counsel for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“The Court’s decision today sends a signal to companies like FirstEnergy that they will not get away with buying legislation, especially when it comes at a significant cost to Ohioans’ pocketbooks and the environment we cherish. Instead of throwing Ohioans’ hard earned money at antiquated and expensive power sources like nuclear and dirty coal, Ohioans deserve a path toward a renewable energy future. The OEC applauds the efforts of the Ohio Attorney General, Cincinnati, and Columbus for filing these lawsuits and standing up for that future. Their win in court today is hopefully the first of many in the legal fight to counteract the bad policy put in place by the General Assembly when it passed HB 6.
“But today’s win does not mean the General Assembly is off the hook. The General Assembly should see this as a sign that it must pass legislation to repeal HB 6 in full to protect Ohioans’ pocketbooks and our environment. Ohioans will miss out on the savings provided by energy efficiency programs that HB 6 repealed. They will breathe dirtier air from the coal plants HB 6 subsidies will keep online. The fight against HB 6 is not over, but today’s preliminary injunction shows we are headed in the right direction.”
The Ohio Environmental Council filed an amicus brief in support of the cities’ request for a preliminary injunction. You can read our amicus brief on our website.