(The Center Square) – The Ohio House wants to move forward with nuclear energy development as criminal proceedings continue following a corruption scandal involving nuclear power plants and the former president of bedroom.
The House just passed House Bill 434, which would create the Ohio Nuclear Development Authority within the Ohio Department of Development. The authority would consist of nine members, all appointed by the governor with input from industry groups.
The bill is now in the Senate.
“In recent years, there has been a global shift in attitudes toward the development of new nuclear technologies to deploy scalable clean energy,” said Rep. Dick Stein, R-Norwalk. “This legislation will put Ohio at the forefront of advanced nuclear innovation and strengthen our national supply chains. This legislation is a proactive step to tell the federal government that Ohio is here to be a solution to finding a clean, carbon-free source of energy.
The new authority, according to a press release, would be responsible for the development of advanced commercialization of nuclear reactors, the production of isotopes and the reduction of nuclear waste.
The nuclear industry, the General Assembly and FirstEnergy have been embroiled in the past two years in the fallout from Bill 6, which has increased consumption rates and provided billions of dollars in bailouts to the two nuclear power plants in the State.
Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder faces federal bribery and racketeering charges in the $60 million scandal that led to the passage of House Bill 6.
Master of the house, who proclaims his innocence, was finally expelled from the Chamber.
Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, lobbyist Neil Clark, Oxley Group co-founder Juan Cespedes and strategist John Longstreth were also charged.
FirstEnergy, based in Akron, admitted he conspired with officials, others, and entities to pay officials millions of dollars in exchange for specific official action to help FirstEnergy. He also admitted to paying millions to an elected state official through the official’s purported non-profit organization in exchange for the official pursuing nuclear legislation to benefit FirstEnergy.
FirstEnergy has also agreed to repay $306 million to consumers as part of a settlement with the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.