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THE PREMIER GRASSROOTS MOBILIZING AND ORGANIZING TEAM IN THE MIDWEST

Ohio Citizen Action organizes and mobilizes people to advocate for public interests. In person, by phone, and online, we engage people in actions that protect public health, improve environmental quality, and benefit consumers. Our campaigns connect Ohioans and build a movement to protect democracy and create a sustainable future.

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Hold legislators accountable for their vote on HB6
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Latest Updates

HB 6 referendum fight highlights the troubling ways Ohio voters can be silenced

Nov 08, 2019 4:41 PM

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"Whether Ohio voters will or won’t get a chance to veto House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout bill, is a question entangled in a legal thicket. But complexity and pettifogging can’t mask the stakes: Do procedural laws, and the ability of those with deep pockets to monetize success in a petition drive, wrongly impair Ohioans’ constitutional right to vote up or down laws the General Assembly has passed?

Nearly a century ago, in 1915, the Ohio Supreme Court seemingly answered that question. The court said the 1912 constitutional amendment giving Ohioans the referendum was crafted 'to put it beyond the power of an unfriendly General Assembly to cripple or to destroy [it].' That’s not the only precedent on the issue, but, coming when it did, so soon after Ohio adopted the referendum, it deserves weight.

HB 6, passed in July, requires Ohio electricity consumers to subsidize the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants on Lake Erie, plus two coal-fueled Ohio Valley Electric Corp. plants, one in Indiana, and it phases out the state’s renewable-energy mandate."

-- Editorial Board, Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer

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Federal judge writes of blockers, bribes and bombast in HB 6 referendum fight

Oct 28, 2019 10:19 AM

The Ohio Statehouse

COLUMBUS -- "'Few Ohioans are unaware of Amended Substitute House Bill 6 ... opponents and supporters of the measure locked horns in what has become one of the most expensive and divisive campaigns in Ohio history,' the judge wrote.

'Plaintiffs claim, and have supported the allegations with sworn testimony, that circulators of the referendum petitions have been assaulted and harassed,' Sargus said.

His honor also cited testimony about bribes to lure away circulators and a “fake petition” circulated by Ohioans For Energy Security, the dark money-fed pro-HB 6 force that dropped over $16 million on TV commercials.

Sargus concluded that the referendum organizers’ request for more days to solicit signatures, and a need for answers to unsettled state law, belong before the Ohio Supreme Court. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts contend that state law illegally robbed it of 38 of the 90 days for its petition drive by requiring state approvals before signature gathering could begin."

-- Darell Rowland, The Columbus Dispatch 

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Editorial: Utilities’ powerful allies keep Ohio moving backward on energy

Oct 25, 2019 4:36 PM

FirstEnergy Headquarters in Akron, OH. 

COLUMBUS -- "More bad news for clean energy came last week when the Ohio Power Siting Board unexpectedly derailed approval of an 80-megawatt solar project proposed for Brown and Clermont counties. The distinct departure from standard practice raised alarm and eyebrows among renewable energy supporters because Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, who also heads the siting board, has had a long career prior to his PUCO appointment advocating for fossil fuel companies and opposing clean energy initiatives.

That same PUCO has tended to favor utilities and disfavor clean energy since long before Randazzo’s appointment as chairman earlier this year. In 2017, it allowed Akron-based FirstEnergy to begin collecting $168 million to $204 million per year in extra charges from customers. It ostensibly was to encourage the company to modernize its distribution system, but the ruling didn’t require FirstEnergy to actually do such work with the money.

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the surcharges earlier this year but allowed FirstEnergy to keep the $400 million-plus it already had collected, without undertaking any distribution-system improvements.

Another 2017 PUCO ruling undermined clean energy development by limiting how much FirstEnergy could recover from customers for energy efficiency projects — in other words, limiting how much the utility would invest in such projects."

-- This editorial represents the opinion of the Columbus Dispatch editorial board, which includes the publisher, editor, editorial page editor and editorial writers.

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