$63 million to pass legislation to force ratepayers to fork over $1.5 billion to hedge funds and merchant banks. Sounds like a scandal to me. You would imagine legislators would be rushing to repeal the outrage, especially those who voted for it.
And you would be wrong, sort of.
As soon as the scandal broke, Governor DeWine said that while the process may have been flawed, we needed to bail out the nuclear plants to save the 1,400 jobs. $1.5 billion should do the trick, though we could cut out the middleman, just give the employees $1 million each, and call it a day. But then how could the hedge funds cash in?
There was a public pushback on leaving the law in place, or on ‘repeal and replace’ which is essentially the same thing, with perhaps a pared-back subsidy and some other things – say a permanent utility low-income program, perhaps?
Three straight repeal bills –Republican and Democratic bills in the House, and a bipartisan bill in the Senate – have been introduced, but none have been assigned to a committee.
That’s why it was interesting that Senate President Obhof recently announced that the Senate will pass repeal legislation before Election Day. At least there is one legislator in the State astute enough to figure out voters will punish people for voting to bail out the nukes in the election this Fall, even though the Republicans will in all likelihood retain the Senate. And the ability to pass anything in the House is far from clear. Plus, Governor DeWine continues to feel the subsidy is justified.
The Art of War, written in the 6th Century BC by Sun Tzu provides some insight into the current situation; “in the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” We will be looking for just those opportunities to provide additional resources and tools to serve families in need.