Wilmington News Journal | We can’t mess with a free market – Ohio News

Wilmington News Journal | We can’t mess with a free market – Ohio News

Ohio Senate Bill 128 has caused a lot of outcry in northern Ohio, but has gone relatively unnoticed here in Wilmington. While we may know the sports teams up in northern Ohio, the ins and outs of their lives don’t really impact us.

We should be paying attention.

I often don’t get political as a politician, mostly because I don’t consider myself a politician. I’m too busy. I have work to do.

However, this legislation has my attention. This Senate Bill, intended to bail out FirstEnergy’s two nuclear power plants, could cost ratepayers in FirstEnergy’s service territory $300 million per year, which is important, even if they are Browns fans.

For northern Ohioans unfortunate enough to reside in FirstEnergy’s service territory, this means a reported rate increase of 5 percent in their electric rates. For industrial users, it’s been reported that the rate increase could be as high as 9 percent.

The indirect costs of this bill will reverberate through all of Ohio, though. Senate Bill 128 effectively picks winners and losers in the energy market. I believe the best team should win and I am disappointed when it doesn’t. I know. I’m a Bengals fan.

However, I would never force a win that, in doing so, would threaten billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs. SB 128 will, though, threatening the investments for the natural-gas fired power plants and the jobs created by the construction and operation of these plants.

Driving these plants out of Ohio reduces competition and could lead to increased electric rates for all Ohioans.

The most troublesome consequence of passing Senate Bill 128, though, is…

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