The proposed constitutional amendment known as the “Ohio Clean Energy Initiative,” made its way into the preliminary approval process to appear on Ohio’s statewide ballot for the fifth time. The measure requires the state of Ohio to spend 1.3 billion of your tax dollars each year for 10 years on so called “clean energy projects.” The projects considered by this initiative would be: solar, wind, biomass, smartgrid, etc.
The proposal is funded by state-issued bonds that would then be transferred into seed money and be controlled by a private company out of the state of Delaware called the “Ohio Energy Initiative Commission LLC.” And, $65 million of this money would be earmarked each year for the company’s “operating expenses.”
Yes you read that right- The Clean Energy Amendment calls for OHIO money to be shipped to a company registered in DELAWARE and not only pays the company $715 million for their services, but grants them sole authority over how to spend $13 billion of public funds over the next decade on Ohio projects they deem worthy.
So will the fifth time be a charm?
Here’s what’s happened with the process so far:
Attorney General DeWine certified the ballot language last month as “fair and truthful.” Next step, on to the Ohio Ballot Board. Here the board determines if the proposal contains only one amendment to the constitution. Yesterday, the Ohio Ballot Board said there were two. Which requires the initiative to be split into two separate ballot issues that could potentially come before Ohio voters. One issue would be the $13 billion in bonds and spending on the clean energy projects. The other would relate to uniquely lowering the required amount of signatures petitioners need to gather on order to get a measure approved for the statewide ballot.
So, since it’s now two separate issues, each proposal must gather the 305,591 signatures from registered voters in order to gain access to the ballot. However there is a new and interesting twist with the recent passage of Issue 2. If the amendment acquires the signatures it needs, it must go back to the Ballot Board for them to determine if the proposed amendment will create a constitutional monopoly. Thus we ask, will the Clean Energy Amendment pass the Issue 2 test? It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We will keep you updated as this issue progresses.
Here is additional information on the amendment:
And a list of petitions submitted to the AG: