Effort to put nuclear plants’ rescue to a vote clears hurdle

COLUMBUS (AP) — Opponents hoping to overturn a financial rescue for Ohio’s nuclear power plants and two coal-fired plants have cleared an initial hurdle to put the issue before voters next year.

Ohio’s attorney general certified Thursday that revised language submitted by Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts is a fair, truthful summary of the proposal. That means supporters can start collecting signatures from Ohio voters around the state that are required for the referendum to proceed.

Lawmakers approved the $1.5 billion rescue package last month. It adds a new fee for every electricity bill in the state and scales back requirements that utilities generate more power from wind and solar.

Supporters say it saves jobs and protects nuclear plants that account for nearly all of Ohio’s clean energy. Opponents criticize it as a bailout.