Millions of dollars were spent in relation to House Bill 6, and federal investigators now allege a significant amount of the money was involved in racketeering and illegal activity. Click here to follow the latest updates on the investigation.
HB6, which was passed into law in 2019, had several provisions. The most prominent portion was the bailout of two nuclear plants, which at the time were owned by First Energy Solutions, then a subsidiary of First Energy. After a bankruptcy ruling earlier this year, the company is now known as Energy Harbor. The company said it would close the plants unless the bailout passed. The company claimed that the supply of natural gas had lowered energy prices to the point where the nuclear plants were no longer profitable.
The bill passed the house and senate, and was signed into law by the governor. It changes how some fees are collected.
The company spent $61 million with an organization called Generation Now; it is that money that federal investigators say was used in a conspiracy to pass the bill.
Federal investigators say the Generation Now money was used to get HB6 passed, and to use various methods to stop referendum efforts that would put a repeal on the ballot. Investigators also say the money was used to support candidates who would support HB6, and to negatively affect those who did not support Householder or the bill.
The campaign to pass HB6 and oppose the potential of a referendum included millions of dollars in advertising campaigns, including commercials warning that China would have undue influence on energy security without HB6.
In addition to the arrest of Larry Householder, federal agents also arrested Neil Clark from Grant Street Consultants in Columbus; former Ohio Republican Party chair and consultant Matthew Borges; Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus; and Jeffrey Longstreth, adviser to Householder.
Cox Media Group