Benton-Carroll-Salem School District leaders provided written opponent testimony on SB 346 currently pending before the Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee. The B-C-S leaders oppose SB 346 because it would repeal HB 6, which was passed last year and is essential for maintaining operations at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station.
Superintendent Guy Parmigian, Treasurer Cajon Keeton, and the B-C-S Board of Education all have said they deplore any alleged illegal or unethical activity surrounding the passage of HB 6, but that HB 6 is good energy policy for all Ohioans.
Here is the testimony of Parmigian and Keeton to the members of the Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Monday:
Thank you for the opportunity for us to provide written opponent testimony on Senate Bill 346 (SB 346) to repeal HB 6 of the 133rd Ohio General Assembly. The repeal of HB 6 would be bad for all Ohioans. We deplore any alleged illegal or unethical activity surrounding the passage of HB 6.
However, despite these allegations, HB 6 remains good energy policy for Ohio for several reasons. First, it promotes in-state carbon-free energy generation, protects Ohio jobs and our economy, and results in lower monthly utility bills for Ohio homes and businesses.
If the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants are forced to close down and go offline prematurely, the energy that will almost certainly replace them will come from a less clean source, undermining our ability to lower our carbon footprint and limit air pollution.
Next, HB 6 maintains Ohio’s two nuclear power plants which helps to ensure a diverse energy grid and also keeps Ohio energy independent, which will help to attract business to our state.
Third, while ensuring we remain on track to reduce emissions, retaining HB 6 will also protect Ohio jobs and communities across the state. Ohio’s two nuclear power facilities support 4,300 Ohio jobs either directly or indirectly—and they spend $45 million with local vendors and suppliers, helping stimulate other areas of our state’s economy and support businesses throughout the state.
Combined, the Perry and Davis-Besse plants also pay upwards of $30 million in state and local taxes, which goes back into supporting services like public schools, first responders, and other community services.
Finally, maintaining HB 6 will help keep energy prices down for Ohioans—both by eliminating costly mandates that are currently factored into utility bills and by maintaining Ohio’s energy diversity and energy independence. Without HB 6 —and if these plants are taken offline early — the average residential electricity bill will increase and Ohio may even have to import costlier, dirtier energy from out of state.
Maintaining HB 6 is absolutely critical for our state’s energy policy and to preserve Ohio’s largest source of emissions-free energy, not to mention protecting thousands of local jobs, strengthening our communities and economy, as well as keeping energy costs for Ohio homes and businesses low.