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Repealing bailout was necessary

Last week, lawmakers in Ohio moved a little closer to doing the right thing when they passed legislation to repeal the bailout of the state’s two nuclear plants. The move would eliminate the electricity bill surcharges that were meant to save the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants.

Buckeye State residents now know what a mess the bill was, from the beginning, including federal charges against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, and four associates who were allegedly being bribed to help secure the measure.

Folks in this part of the country are familiar with the jeering aimed at the solar and wind industries in other states. If they are so great, they don’t need subsidies, right? They don’t need bailouts. If the two nuclear power plants are doing their jobs, they don’t need bailed out, either.

Energy Harbor, which took over the two plants in February 2020, says it no longer wants the subsidy. Good.

If the facilities are productive, well-maintained and safe, and serve customers at reasonable prices, the bill should no longer be needed. Meanwhile, lawmakers — and Ohioans — can begin to put the whole debacle behind them. One exception will, of course, be the continued investigation and criminal proceedings against those charged with bribery.

Should they be found guilty, they should never get the chance to forget this mess.

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