TOLEDO, Ohio — "The Chinese government is quietly invading our electric grid." That's a line from an ad that's been running recently.
You might think, 'What?' The ad further says a special interest group is targeting Ohio's money and energy jobs. It finally urges people not to sign a petition that is circulating.
After the one minute ad, you still may be asking, 'What was that about?' The ad from Ohioans for Energy Security is about House Bill 6.
The legislation piece was passed in the state legislature and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine recently.
"Those plants are important to Ohio's energy security and they're important to Ohio's economy," said Carlo LoParo, the spokesperson for Ohioans for Energy Security.
House Bill 6 includes a bailout for Davis Besse and another nuclear power plant, which provides about 15% of Ohio's electricity.
The bailout, which will be paid for by taxpayers, for the nuclear power plants wasn't in the original version of the bill. The intent was to provide clean energy incentives.
Those angry about the version that state lawmakers passed are working to repeal it by collecting petition signatures with the hopes of getting it on the 2020 ballot.
"It guts Ohio's renewable energy standards, so it's expensive for the consumer, whether you're a residential customer or business customer. It drives away jobs," said Gene Pierce, the spokesperson for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, the group behind the repeal effort.
So what about China? Ohioans for Energy Security says the repeal campaign is backed by oil and gas companies looking to grow their market share, which have borrowed from a Chinese bank. Perhaps a loose connection.
"There's no Chinese money in our campaign," Pierce said. "That is just ridiculous."
Ohioans for Energy Security says the intent of the ads is to get your attention, but is there a real threat against your personal information?
When asked if people who put down their names and email addresses on the petition are giving their information to the Chinese government, Lo Paro said, "Well, you give it to petitioners who are funded by these international interests and certainly that information is a public record."
It appears to come down to where you stand on the issue of Ohio's energy future.
Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts have until Oct. 21 to collect 265,746 approved signatures for the repeal petition to make it on the 2020 ballot.