Organizers representing Ohio’s Athens, Fulton and Medina counties have argued in a court filing that Secretary of State Jon Husted erroneously invalidated petitions that seek to ban oil and gas development based on the substance of the petitions rather than their legal validity. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) filed a lawsuit in August after Husted said the petitions, signed by more than 9,000 people, violated state law and legal precedent, and removed an initiative from the November ballots (see Shale Daily, Aug. 21; Aug. 14). The Ohio Supreme Court was asked to fast track its decision on whether the ballot initiative should be reinstated to allow voters to decide the issue. If reinstated, voters would be asked to ban injection wells and oil/gas extraction by establishing a county charter prohibiting such development.
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