by J.D. Davidson
An Indiana coal plant continues to receive subsidies from Ohio energy ratepayers despite efforts from lawmakers to whittle away at the scandal-ridden House Bill 6 passed more than two years ago.
Ohio state Reps. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, and Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, toured the Clifty Creek Coal Plant, owned by Ohio Valley Electric Coop, this week. Clifty Creek is in Madison, Indiana, an hour from the Ohio border.
Ohio Valley Electric receives $232,000 in ratepayer subsidies per day, Crossman and Weinstein said, part of which goes to Clifty Creek.
“It’s time to shine some light on the subsidies keeping this out-of-state coal plant operating,” Weinstein said. “Ohioans are footing the bill to keep a plant in Indiana open when other states are closing dirty, non-competitive plants like this one.”
Lawmakers already repealed parts of HB 6, including nuclear subsidies, but the coal money remains. Legislation to eliminate the coal subsidies is having hearings in the House.
“I can say this unequivocally, Ohioans should not be paying for a coal plant located in Indiana – an hour away from the Ohio border,” Crossman said. “Coming here has been educational, and I encourage all Ohio legislators that supported the bad House Bill 6 to come here to see what they are actually paying for. Even people in Indiana think that the plant operators need to look to the future so that these workers and this community are not left behind.”
Former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder faces federal bribery and racketeering charges in the $60 million scandal that led to the passage of House Bill 6 and a billion-dollar bailout of the state’s nuclear plants.
The company at the heart at what federal prosecutors call the largest bribery and corruption scandal in Ohio history, FirstEngery, agreed to pay $230 million and cooperate fully with the government as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.
Householder was expelled from the House earlier this year. He, along with four co-conspirators, were charged a year ago. Three of the six entities have pleaded guilty.
Also charged were former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, lobbyist Neil Clark, the Oxley Group co-founder Juan Cespedes and strategist John Longstreth.
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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Clifty Creek Power Plant” by Crowezr CC BY-SA 3.0.