Ohio Bonds for Clean Energy Initiative (2014)

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The Ohio Bonds for Clean Energy Initiative is not on the November 4, 2013 ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have directed the General Assembly to issue general obligation bonds in an aggregate amount of $1.3 billion in each year for ten years for clean energy infrastructure, research and the development of sites and facilities related to clean energy. The measure would have awarded all energy projects to the Ohio Energy Initiative Commission LLC, a limited liability company registered in the State of Delaware.[1]
See Energy policy in Ohio for a full explanation of energy policy across the state.

Support

Yes for Ohio's Energy Future led the campaign in support of the initiative.[2]

Opposition

Opponents

Officials

Organizations

  • Sierra Club[4]
  • Ohio Environmental Council
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Solar Energy Industries Association[5]
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Environment Ohio
  • Expedite Renewable Energy
  • Buckeye Forest Council
  • Ohio’s Citizen Action’s Money in Politics Project

Arguments

The Sierra Club opposed the measure for a number of reasons:[5]

  • Firstly, Jed Throp of the Sierra Club, Ohio Chapter, noted that the measure had an “unprecedented and unacceptable lack of transparency and accountability.” He criticized the giving of public money to a private company, the Ohio Energy Initiative Commission LLOC (OEIC). He said, “The proposed structure — giving a private and anonymous company control of public benefit funds — is unprecedented and extremely alarming."
  • Secondly, the measure’s language was “overly broad” and “vague” to the point that “any technology or expenditure may be included.” Therefore, “there is no guarantee that funds will be used to benefit the advancement of legitimate clean energy efforts — to the detriment of citizens of Ohio.”

Other arguments included:

  • Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) encouraged voters to reject the measure, saying, "It would put people in (the state of) Delaware in charge of Ohio’s economic development. It doesn’t make any sense at all. I would highly recommend that voters vote against it."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Ohio

The measure was submitted in March 2013, but the sponsoring organization never submitted the signatures necessary to place the initiative on the ballot. Yes for Ohio's Energy Future Spokesperson Josh Pulliam explained the reason for refiling the initiative, saying, “There is no real substantive change to the ballot issue. There was a minor change in that the Ohio Clean Energy Initiative would begin in the year following passage of the ballot issue. The previous ballot issue was hardwired to begin in 2013, which may have presented a problem if the issue were passed in a later year.”[6] The initiative was refiled and supporters submitted 2,800 signatures on November 12, 2013 to the Attorney General.[1] Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) certified the initiative for circulation on November 18, 2013.[7]

Based on the Ohio Constitution, supporters needed to gather and submit 385,247 valid signatures by July 2, 2014, the 125th day before the general election. No signatures were submitted.

Related measures

See also

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References