Ohioans Against Corporate Bailout (OACB) announced this week it has stopped its efforts of repealing House Bill 6, a piece of legislation that bailed out Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.
OACB filed a motion Tuesday in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to dissolve its case.
“We have moved to dismiss our suit in federal court, as we could see no clear path to a successful petition drive,” OABC spokesperson Gene Pierce told the News Herald in an email. “The committee will now stand down.”
The anti-bailout group sought more time to collect signatures for a November ballot initiative in an attempt to overturn HB 6. OACB did not get the required 265,774 signatures by the October 21 deadline. However, OACB requested an extra 38 days to gather signatures after it said the state delayed approving its ballot initiative.
U.S. District Court Judge Edmund A. Sargus ruled in October that OACB went to the wrong court when seeking more time. Thus, he asked the Ohio Supreme Court to decide if the group deserved extra time to collect signatures. In December, Ohio’s highest court announced it would listen to the case.
Even though the Ohio Supreme Court gave OACB this positive news, money started to become an issue for the group. Pierce told the Columbus Dispatch that it did not have the “resources to continue the fight.”
“The heavy-handed spending spree (by opponents) made money a priority. The issues were on our side, but we couldn’t match the spending they were doing,” he said. “It really tipped the scales against citizen participation and citizen referendum.”
Last year, FirstEnergy Solutions, which owns Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, sought Ohio’s highest court to decide the constitutionality of a potential HB 6 referendum but, the court decided against hearing the case.
HB 6, which became law in July, gives Ohio’s two nuclear power plants $150 million in annual government assistance for seven years. Ohioans will compensate this bill by paying an extra 85 cents on their monthly electrical payments.
– – –