To the Editor:

The Athens NEWS on June 13 ran a letter to the editor entitled “Supporting H.B. 6, Rep. Edwards Chooses Party Over People.”

While the letter contains several fallacies, the headline really starts off with a whammy. The fact is, this was not a party-line vote. Ten Democrats – nearly one-third of the caucus – joined with a majority of Republicans to pass this bill. In today’s era of hyper-partisanship in Washington, this was a remarkable display of cooperation in Columbus.

The letter goes on to say that Ohio House Bill 6 will result in taking our money to prop up a failing technology. This bill will actually save nearly all Ohioans money on their monthly residential power bill. Please tell the 15 nations across the globe currently constructing nearly 50 nuclear-power reactors that this is a “failing technology.” They must not have heard. 

The author then proceeds to lay out that we need to focus on clean-energy jobs that keep our air clean. That is interesting, since if House Bill 6 were to fail and the two nuclear-power plants along Lake Erie were to close, not only would 4,000 Ohioans instantaneously lose their jobs, but 90% of Ohio’s carbon-free electric generation would disappear. 

Focusing on wind and solar energy is noble, but with current technology, we simply cannot produce enough power with it. 

The effort to kill House Bill 6 is funded almost exclusively by the oil and natural-gas interests. They don’t want this bill to pass – not in order to replace those nuke plants with windmills, but with yet another gas-fired power plant like the one that sits on the campus of Ohio University.

Opposing House Bill 6 because of the nominal impact on renewables will kill thousands of good-paying union jobs and give Big Gas a monopoly in Ohio and ultimately result is less-clean air. 

I applaud Jay Edwards for standing with Democrats to get this done in the House. Now we need Sens. Tim Schaffer and Frank Hoagland to do what’s right for all Ohioans: pass HB 6.

Chandler Burris-Jones 

Athens

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