Defenders of nuclear plant bailout go from deception to outright lie in new ad via The Columbus Dispatch

By Randy Ludlow 

A new TV commercial from the defenders of the House Bill 6 consumer bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants includes an outright lie.

The 30-second spot that began airing Thursday, titled “Lights Out Ohio,” makes the false assertion that Chinese companies are buying Ohio power plants.

“Now because of deregulation, foreign entities including China are pouring into Ohio buying power plants and infiltrating our power grid,” the commercial says.


Group spokesman Carlo LoParo provided dozens of articles from corporate-financing websites about the government-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and natural-gas-fired power plants in Ohio, but all of the articles concerned loans and financing it provided — not ownership interests.


A group opposed to House Bill 6 — Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts — is working to obtain the valid signatures of 265,774 registered Ohio voters by Oct. 21 to place a referendum on the November 2020 ballot.

Signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, House Bill 6 will impose an 85-cent monthly charge on residential electricity bills to generate $150 million a year to subsidize the Lake Erie plants owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions. If the referendum makes the 2020 ballot, the law will not take effect unless voters approve it. The bankrupt company threatened to close the plants starting June 30 without a subsidy, and they will shut them down if the referendum qualifies for the ballot, LoParo said earlier.

Gene Pierce, spokesman for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, said of the opposition’s new TV commercial: “It’s just as misleading and untruthful as before … it’s a sign of desperation. They have a billion dollars coming from someone else’s pocket and they will do everything they can — ignoring the truth — to get that money.”

Ohioans for Energy Security is a so-called dark money group that is not required to disclose its donors or the amounts they give. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts eventually will have to disclose its spending and donors. Pierce said they do not include Chinese interests.

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