Attorney general shuts down proposed referendum to overturn Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law
COLUMBUS — "Yost, a Columbus-area Republican, wrote in a rejection letter to the group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailout that he found 21 errors with the group’s proposed summary language – a succinct explanation of the proposal provided to voters asked to sign a petition supporting the measure.
The errors he cited range from inaccurate definitions of terms such as 'electric distribution utility' and 'operation risks' to misstating the size of energy projects that are eligible for a property tax exemption. (The proposed summary states that projects generating less than 20 megawatts are eligible, while the new law states the tax exemption is for projects greater than 20 megawatts.)
The proposed summary, Yost asserted, also misstates the powers given by the new law to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the newly created Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, the latter of which will oversee the distribution of $150 million per year (raised from a new $1 surcharge on every Ohio ratepayer’s bill) to Ohio’s Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants, both of which are owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. that is in bankruptcy proceedings as part of an attempt to become a separate company.
Yost’s rejection means Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts has to revise their summary language, collect another 1,000 signatures from registered voters, and resubmit their proposal to the attorney general’s office. The group has until Oct. 21 to submit language that’s acceptable to the attorney general, according to Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts spokesman Gene Pierce.
In a statement, Pierce said his group will submit a revised summary within the next several days that addresses Yost’s concerns."
— Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com