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Environment & Energy

Group Opposed to Nuclear Bailout Turns to Courts After Petition Drive Fails

a photo of the petition
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A petition drive to put the energy bill before voters failed to collect enough signatures.

The hotly-contested energy law that bails out nuclear power plants takes effect Tuesday. A group trying to pause the law and put it before voters did not turn in their signatures by the Monday deadline. But the anti-nuclear bailout group is taking a different route.

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts says they didn't have enough signatures to qualify for a referendum by the deadline.  

The group's Gene Pierce says their referendum drive has been met with heavy opposition, including ads, mailers, and canvassers who allegedly blocked and harassed signature collectors.

"The bottom line is that the smear campaign and the lies and deceit of the House Bill 6 supporters were successful in confusing Ohioans and discouraging them from signing our petition," Pierce said.

The anti-nuclear bailout group is still hoping a federal court will extend the deadline to collect signatures based on their arguments that they've faced unconstitutional hurdles.

"We're very disappointed we couldn't put an immediate stay on the very bad bill from going into effect but we're hoping that the courts will recognize the constitutional rights that we have," Pierce said.