WAPAKONETA — State Rep. Craig Riedel (R-District 82) discussed the reasoning behind his stance against Ohio House Bill 6 at Monday’s Wapakoneta Rotary Club.
House Bill 6 was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in July to bail out FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear power plants in Toledo and Perry.
To do so, beginning in January 2021, Ohio electricity customers would face an 85-cent increase monthly until 2027 to raise $170 million per year for the bailout.
Luckily for Wapakoneta residents, their city is a member of American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP), a nonprofit wholesale power and services provider. However, much of the area will still be impacted.
“If you’re a municipality and you get your electricity from an AMP or from an electricity co-op like the Paulding Putnam Electric Co-Op or Midwest Electric co-op, then you’re exempt from this House Bill 6,” Riedel explained. “But if you get your electricity from basically any other big players around here, FirstEnergy Solutions, AEP, DP&L or Duke Energy, this rider will be on your electric bill.”
Riedel voted against the bill both when it originated in the House and when it came back with revisions from the Senate.
“Electrical generation in the state of Ohio is a deregulated market, an open, competitive, market. It’s hydro competing against solar, competing against wind, competing against coal, competing against oil and natural gas — they’re all fighting for you just like any other open, competitive business,” Riedel said. “What we’ve done here, the government of the state of Ohio, we’ve tipped the scales. We’ve basically sent a message to anybody interested in generating electricity in the state and said don’t compete with the two nuclear plants because Ohio is going to come to their rescue, and I think that’s wrong.”
Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts will need to collect 266,000 signatures from registered Ohio voters by Oct. 21 to have a proposed referendum to overturn the bailout law on the 2020 ballot.
Also sitting on Riedel’s desk are 17 gun bills, with about four or five more on the way, he said.
“I predict though it’s very unlikely we will see any kind of ‘red flag’ law or any kind of expanded background check changes in the law,” Riedel said. “I can tell just talking to my peers there’s not an appetite for that, but what you’ll see are some nibbles around the corner improving areas that we should be improving.”
Riedel is referring to the plan to shift people from psychiatric hospitals to free up space for those who truly need the care and using resources to clean up the arrest warrant database to be quicker and more accurate.
Gov. Mike DeWine plans to introduce legislation to roll out his plan to reduce gun violence Oct. 7.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.