FirstEnergy Solutions Wants Their Lawsuit Against House Bill 6 Referendum Expedited, AG Yost Says No


Last week First Energy Solutions (FES), which owns the two nuclear power plants in northern Ohio, sued the Ohio Secretary of State and Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts. FES wants to stop the Bailout group from moving ahead with their referendum against House Bill 6 – known as the nuclear bailout – and they asked for the case to be expedited. Attorney General Dave Yost declined their request.

Yost’s written response to the Ohio Supreme Court, stated he is in, “Opposition to Relators’ motion for expedited case schedule.”

Gongwer reported, “FES had argued that ‘the sooner the court invalidates the referendum petition, the fewer the number of Ohio electors who will be misled by the committee’s illegal referendum effort and the less public resources that will be wasted in determining the sufficiency of signatures and other legal requirements relating to the futile referendum petition’.”

In the Memorandum in Opposition, Yost provided two reasons for the Court to reject the expedited plea.

First, as the Petition makes clear, the Relators are trying to prevent the circulation of petitions in support of a House Bill 6 (“H.B. 6”) referendum… But the referendum can only reach the ballot if the Petitioners obtain sufficient signatures to get it there, which they have not yet done… Simply put, a referendum on H.B. 6 is not yet on the ballot, and there is no pending election at which the issue will put before voters.”

He also wrote,

Second, even if Petitioners had received sufficient signatures for a H.B. 6 referendum, it will not appear on the ballot until November 3, 2020. Id., Ex. C. This action was not filed within ninety days of pending election in which the referendum might appear such that there is “a necessity [for] a prompt disposition.’.”

In Yost’s final comments to the Court, he added that the right to referendum is a, “significant constitutionally guaranteed right.”

The court has not yet responded.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dave Yost” by Dave Yost. Background Photo “Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station” by Gregory Varnum. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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