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Government & Politics

Petitioners Seeking Referendum on Energy Bill Are Being Followed

Perry nuclear power plant seen from the south
TIM RUDELL
/
WKSU
The bill that subsidizes two Ohio nuclear plants continues to generate debate.

The well-funded group fighting to keep the nuclear power plant bailout in place is paying people to follow the opposition. One of these "monitors" has even been accused of assaulting a petitioner. The group says their goal is to--politely--educate the voters.

Generation Now has been playing pro-nuclear bailout ads for most of this year, pushing for an agenda that closely aligns with FirstEnergy Solutions, which owns the two nuclear power plants.

Now the group’s Curt Steiner says they're shifting their focus to fighting a potential referendum by monitoring petitioners, who he says are putting out bad information. "The people who are circulating this petition will say anything to get anyone to sign the petition because really it's a bounty hunt," Steiner said.

Generation Now is not disclosing its donors.

The referendum group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts says the pro-nuclear bailout groups are the ones lobbing what they call "ridiculous" claims, such as invoking fears through anti-Chinese government rhetoric.