Appalachian Basin

Ohio Sec. of State Strikes Down CELDF’s Ban-Fracking Initiatives

As opposition to “ban fracking” ballot measures has mounted in Ohio communities, Secretary of State Jon Husted determined today that Ohio voters will not a be subject to costly county charter amendments and so-called Community Bill of Rights ballot initiatives pushed by the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).  Three proposed anti-fracking ballot proposals were struck down by Secretary Husted, who cited the measures as a “violation of provisions of statutory and Ohio constitutional law.”

According the Secretary’s press release:

“The issue of whether local communities can get around state laws on fracking has already been litigated,” Secretary Husted said. “Allowing these proposals to proceed will only serve a false promise that wastes taxpayer’s time and money and will eventually end in sending the charters to certain death in the courts.” (emphasis added)

This news comes just after EID lifted the curtain on the CELDF and their efforts behind Ohio’s “local” anti-fracking campaigns.  The group’s antics were further exposed in articles such as “County Charter: You Say You Want a Revolution? Well, No” and “County Residence Can Protect Their Rights by Nixing Charter.”  As voters began to learn more about CELDF, and how costly their ballot measures would be, the Ohio Secretary of State Election Division received many letters and public complaints questioning the validity of the county charter ballot proposals in Athens, Fulton, and Medina Counties.

Just as a refresher, over the past few months, Ohio has been subject to 9 possible “bill of rights” petition drives spearheaded from misinformation campaigns by the CELDF.  As of today, Portage County, Medina County, Fulton County, the City of Columbus, and Athens County “bill of rights” will not be on the November ballot, while Gates Mills, Akron, and Meigs County are still pending submission and legal challenges.  That leaves only Youngstown, where voters have rejected the measure already 4 times.

Given this determination, and the onslaught of defeats CELDF has faced, it will certainly be interesting to see if the group’s founder, Thomas Linzey, will make good on his promise to visit the Buckeye State this fall, as activists Dick McGinn recently cited. One thing is certain: the more CELDF pushes its agenda, the opposition in Ohio communities only grows. The curtain on CELDF has been lifted, and Ohioans simply do not like what they see.

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