By: Tracy Sabetta
Date: May 12, 2021
About: Support for Senate Bill 117
To: Ohio Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee
Chairman Peterson, Vice Chair Schuring, Ranking Member Williams, and Members of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee, on behalf of the more than 80,000 members of Moms Clean Air Force in Ohio, we are offering our full support of Senate Bill 117.
Moms Clean Air Force in Ohio has strongly supported broad-based efforts to repeal the entirety of House Bill 6, legislation saddled in corruption and tied directly to a $61 million bribery scandal in the state. While the nuclear subsidy provision was recently revoked, other components remain that not only cost Ohio consumers their hard-earned dollars, but also have a negative impact on the health of all Ohioans.
Subsidies being collected by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) are designed to recover costs for old, unprofitable coal-fired power plants by passing those charges on to Ohio consumers. The OVEC provisions added to House Bill 6 would bail out two 1950s-era coal-burning power plants—the Kyger Creek plant in Ohio and the Clifty Creek coal plant in Indiana—that are co-owned by all of Ohio’s utilities, shifting the cost of the mismanaged plants onto the backs of Ohio’s electricity customers until 2030.
All four Ohio utilities have been losing money on these plants. More importantly, all four expect to continue losing money on them for the foreseeable future, which is why they sought a massive bailout from Ohio families. Three of these utilities were opposed to House Bill 6 until the OVEC bailout—estimated to be worth $700 million—was added to the legislation to garner their support.
The OVEC provision negatively impacts more than just consumer pocketbooks. According to the 2021 American Lung Association State of the Air Report, there are nearly 200,000 Ohio children living with asthma today. We know that pollution caused by old, inefficient coal-fired power plants increases the frequency and severity of asthma attacks for those children. Maintaining the OVEC bailout provisions while simultaneously stripping away the state’s successful renewable energy and efficiency standards creates a one-two punch that will have detrimental impacts on the health of our families and children.
We know that Ohio parents want reasonably priced energy options that do not put our children’s health at risk. Developing a comprehensive, innovative energy plan for Ohio that promotes job growth, saves consumers money, and reduces harmful emissions could deliver us the best of both worlds. Asking Ohio consumers to prop up these dirty plants is not the way to do it.
We urge you to protect the health of our children and not the profits of Ohio’s utility companies shadowed in corruption. Please support the repeal of the OVEC subsidies by supporting Senate Bill 117.