Ohioans for Energy Security

Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Last week brought a close to one chapter for Ohio's nuclear power plant bailout, House Bill 6, when the group collecting signatures to fight against the law fell short of their goal.

A federal judge on Wednesday denied the group more time to collect enough signatures to trigger a ballot referendum, but activists are still hoping the Ohio Supreme Court will grant their request.

Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio
Dan Konik / Ohio Public Radio

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown talk about the questionable, yet successful, efforts of nuclear energy interests to keep a referendum off the ballot. Catherine Turcer, the Executive Director for Common Cause Ohio, joins the show.

Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The group that wants to overturn Ohio’s nuclear power plant bailout law is required to submit nearly 266,000 valid signatures by next Monday to halt that law and put it before voters next year. However supporters of the bailout are waging an unrelenting fight to stop that.

UPDATE: A federal judge has ruled that opponents of the nuclear power plant bailout law can temporarily stop filing paperwork that discloses personal information about their signature gatherers. The group that wants to put the law before voters says the other side has been using that information to target their petition circulators.

Opponents of the nuclear power plant bailout, created through HB6, have filed a lawsuit in federal court to get an extension to their referendum signature gathering due date. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts is arguing their rivals are unfairly using campaign records against them.

The entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Ron Schwane / Associated Press

Dark money gets a lot of attention at the federal level, but it’s hard at work in Ohio right now.

Amy Sutherly gathers signatures to put a referendum of HB6 on the 2020 November ballot. She has a brace around her wrist saying she sustained the injury after a counter petitioner hit her.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

The campaign around Ohio's nuclear bailout law is intensifying with more reports of people intimidating signature gatherers who want to put the law up for a vote on next year's ballot. The reports of aggression have even captured the attention of Ohio's attorney general.

Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Ballot efforts typically ramp up in the weeks before an election. The fight over Ohio’s new nuclear bailout law, though, is in full swing more than a year before a possible vote.

So why the early start? One side says it’s to keep two nuclear power plants from closing, while experts say spending now may be the best investment.

Andy Chow

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the controvertial fliers urging voters not to join the nuclear bailout repeal effort. Carlo LaParo, spokesperson with the group Ohioans For Energy Security, joins the show.

FirstEnergy Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Ron Schwane / AP

A group is looking to collect signatures statewide to ask voters to overturn the law that bails out nuclear power plants, but now a competing group has formed to argue in favor of the ratepayer subsidies.