Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected the summary language of a ballot proposal that would have reversed a nearly $1 billion subsidy for nuclear energy to FirstEnergy Solutions.
Yost is required to determine whether the summary provided on the petition that people signed for the ballot truthfully represented the referendum language. He ruled that the petition contained 21 inaccuracies or omissions in the summary text.
Among some of the issues were poor or inconcise wording and omitting details that are required to be included by law.
“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the Summary as a fair and truthful statement of the measure to be referred,” Yost said in a letter to the group that filed the proposal, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts. “However, I must caution that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”
In a statement, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, announced that it will revise the language to conform to Yost’s objections.
"Our campaign will immediately revise our summary to address the Attorney General's concerns and submit a new draft for reconsideration within the next several days," spokesperson Gene Pierce said. "We plan to give Ohioans the opportunity to reject this ill-conceived legislation on the November 2020 ballot."
The campaign will be required to properly revise the language and gather initial signatures again.
The subsidy was signed into law to bail out two plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions: The Davis-Besse power plant in Ottawa County, and the North Perry power plant in Perry. It will be paid for through increased rates for consumers: An 85 cent monthly increase for residential consumers and even more for industries. The cost for major industrial plants will be $2,400 more every month.
The bill would reverse the subsidy, which would force the plants to shut down.