Ottawa County and Lake County commissioners expressed strong opposition on Monday to any legislative proposal to repeal House Bill 6 without a thoroughly vetted and workable replacement.
“While we detest any alleged illegal or unethical activity before, during, or after the enactment of the legislation, we certainly believed the policy outcomes were of great benefit not only to our counties, but also to all Ohioans,” said the county commissioners in a prepared statement. “If the former House Speaker or ‘dark money’ contributors were coordinating illegal behind the scenes activities, they should be punished in accordance with Federal and State laws.”
According to Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Stahl, “About a year ago we stood together and celebrated the numerous, positive, policy impacts of HB 6 which included lower monthly electric bills for all Ohioans, cleaner air to breathe for all Ohioans, saving several thousand direct and indirect jobs in our counties, protecting our schools, and strengthening our safety services.”
The Commissioners contend that no piece of federal, state, or local legislation is perfect, and can certainly be improved, enhanced, or adjusted to address necessary changes.
“Simply throwing the policy out with the political bathwater seems short-sighted at best and potentially catastrophic to Ohio’s energy portfolio and costs moving forward,” said Lake County Commission President John Hamercheck. “The fact remains if the nuclear fleet in Ohio is closed, nearly 90% of Ohio’s zero-carbon electric power generation and over 25% of Ohio’s entire electric energy portfolio would be lost and will not come back,”
Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino added, “A balanced, effective replacement could include more fiscal transparency for any recipient of clean energy credits and oversight by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. In addition to reviewing the amount of clean energy credits, a replacement bill should include specific plans to strengthen Ohio’s other sources of zero-carbon, alternative energy generators.”
Cirino further noted, “We don’t believe for a minute that a repeal now with a promise to replace later will ever happen. There is plenty of time to study the issues, review options and hear from all parties to figure out how to pass a bill that retains clean nuclear energy and incorporates other changes to HB6 that many will embrace.”
“The Commissioners will do whatever it takes to protect our community’s economy. Ottawa and Lake counties stand firmly together on this,” said Commissioner Stahl.