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New Poll Shows Majority of Ohio Voters Oppose HB 6


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New Poll Shows Majority of Ohio Voters Oppose HB 6

9 in 10 Ohio Voters Call on FirstEnergy to Open Their Books for Financial Review 

COLUMBUS, June 18, 2019—API Ohio today released a new public poll of registered Ohio voters showing widespread, bipartisan opposition to House Bill 6 (HB 6), a bill that would charge all Ohio ratepayers a fee on their monthly bill to bail out two already profitable nuclear power plants.

“The taxpayers of Ohio should not be paying their hard-earned money to bail out two profitable nuclear plants. This poll solidifies that Ohioans reject this bailout and expect FirstEnergy to be transparent and open their financial books instead of having this bill rushed through the legislative process,” said Chris Zeigler, executive director of API Ohio. “Ohio lawmakers should not be playing politics with electricity bills at the expense of Ohio families.”

Key takeaways from the poll include:

  • 88 percent of respondents believe that FirstEnergy Solutions should be subject to review of their financial records by the state legislature before another vote on the bill, with 75 percent of respondents in strong agreement.
  • 82 percent of respondents believe the bill, that would add a surcharge to utility bills of all ratepayers in Ohio, would hurt senior citizens and families living on fixed incomes.
  • 82 percent of respondents oppose allowing money from the fund going to help bail out a plant in Indiana, with 63 percent of voters strongly opposed.
  • 70 percent of voters oppose the bill, and the opposition is overwhelmingly bipartisan (73 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Democrats, and 73 percent of Independents oppose).
  • 62 percent of respondents believe new utility costs could hurt manufacturers across the state, also impacting jobs.

Ohio lawmakers today are hearing testimony from opponents of the bill, including API Vice President of Downstream and Industry Operations, Frank Macchiarola.  In testimony, Macchiarola noted, “Under the guise of a clean energy fee, this bill imposes additional costs on the average Ohio resident to subsidize the operations of a publicly traded electric utility.”

API-Ohio’s study was conducted from June 7-12, 2019, by telephone among 801 registered voters across Ohio by The Harris Poll, with a sampling error of +/- 3.4 percent as part of API’s "What America is Thinking on Energy Issues” research series. API aims to offer data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.

API Ohio is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.