CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -In July, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 6 (HB 6) into law which some call a bailout of the state’s failing nuclear power plants, owned by First Energy solutions.
Nuclear power plants are losing the battle to natural gas plants because of cheaper prices for natural gas.
HB 6 created a new surcharge on Ohioans energy bills that will create a pot of an estimated $300 million a year.
That money will be award to any power producing plant that can prove they are a clean energy producer.
It’s expected First Energy Solutions would be eligible for an overwhelming majority of that $300 million as nuclear power plants produce very low emissions.
There is an effort to get HB6 on the November ballot but to do so they need more than 200,000 petition signatures.
That’s where the scary looking ads come in, created by Ohioans For Energy Security, claiming China is trying to invade Ohio’s power industry.
The ad encourages voters not to sign the petition, in an attempt to keep it off the ballot.
According to Rea S. Hederman Jr., Executive Director of the Economic Research Center and Vice President of Policy at the watchdog group The Buckeye Institute, the ads are misleading at best.
“The basis of the ad is a loan from a Chinese financial institution to an investor in natural gas plants,” Hederman said. “This is a tenuous connection to the claim that China is taking over our energy grid. It would be akin to claiming that Kroger is taking over our roads, because KEMBA(Kroger Employee Mutual Benefits Association) provides loans so people can buy cars.”
The campaign to stop HB 6 from getting on the ballot has gone all out with television, radio and fliers being mailed to people’s homes.
“The ad’s images of Chinese politicians and military makes the loans seem more sinister than the mundane everyday occurrence of finance,” Hederman said. “The images definitely seem aimed at warning Ohioans about a foreign menace, but the irony is that the company that benefits most from HB 6, First Energy Solutions, has also received financing from China.”