CELDF Continues Its Losing Streak of Failed Anti-Fracking Ballot Measures in Ohio

For the fifth year in a row, Ohio voters rejected a Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s (CELDF) anti-fracking local ballot measure on Election Day.  As the Toledo Blade reported, Ohio’s only local ballot measure this year, the Bowling Green Community Rights Charter Amendment — which was designed to block a pipeline route — wasn’t even close, with 61 percent of voters rejecting it.  Bowling Green represents CELDF’s 29th loss out of 34 attempts to pass local measures in the Buckeye State since 2012.

CELDF’s numerous attempts to get these ballot measures passed have repeatedly placed significant financial burdens on the communities the group has targeted. For instance, CELDF’s efforts in Youngstown have cost taxpayers more than $187,000. Despite these groups’ best efforts, these ballot measures have continued to fail all over the state, as the following chart clearly shows. CELDF’s has suffered numerous legal setbacks as well, with courts ruling (literally) over and over that the local ballot language is preempted by state law.  Even the Ohio Supreme Court has also weighed in on several occasions.  Here’s a list of all the failures that these campaigns have had over the years.

City County Year
Bowling Green Wood County 2013
Youngstown Mahoning County 2013
Youngstown Mahoning County 2013
Gates Mills Cuyahoga County 2014
Kent Portage County 2014
Youngstown Mahoning County 2014
Youngstown Mahoning County 2014
Youngstown Mahoning County 2015
Youngstown Mahoning 2016
Bowling Green Wood County 2017
Short Signatures
Columbus Franklin 2015
NA Portage 2015
NA Franklin 2016
NA Defiance 2016
Columbus Franklin 2017
NA Portage 2017
Ruled Invalid/Repealed in Court
Broadview Heights Cuyahoga County 2012
Niles Trumbull 2013
NA Athens 2015
NA Meigs 2015
NA Fulton 2015
NA Medina 2015
NA Meigs 2016
NA Portage 2016
NA Athens 2016
NA Medina 2016
Youngstown Mahoning County 2017
NA Medina 2017
NA Athens 2017
Yellow Springs Greene County 2012
Mansfield Richland County 2012
Oberlin Lorain County 2013
Athens Athens County 2014
Waterville Lucas County 2016

So the question is, when will this nonsense stop?  These efforts have proven to be fruitless and a total waste of time and taxpayer money, as voters continue to reject the out-of-state and out-of-touch campaign efforts by CELDF.   Ironically, the group’s founder, Thomas Linzey said,

This movement is a reboot of American democracy.” (emphasis added)

But, it’s clear from the chart above that democracy has shown that voters reject these efforts. Wouldn’t five years of voters saying “no” be evidence enough that the “decision of the community” has been made?

Enough is enough.


  1. For 13 billion years the universe didn’t produce a creature on Earth with opposable thumbs and a brain big enough to know how to use them. It won’t take that long for the universe to prove to Energy in Deep that killing the planet that lets them use those thumbs is a bad idea. The folk at CELDF are on a fast track to get the job done. A few years of obstinacy by the soon to be extinct fossil foolers is a drop in the bucket.


  1. […] more than two dozen failures at the local level in Ohio, the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense […]

  2. […] After more than two dozen failures at the local level in Ohio, the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense (CELDF) recently announced plans to launch a statewide initiative petition for two Ohio constitutional amendments. The ultimate goal is to alter state law to allow local fracking bans (among other extreme objectives).  While the proposed so-called “Ohio Community Rights Amendment” and the “Initiative and Referendum Amendment for Counties and Townships” garnered 1,000 signatures and was certified by the Ohio’s Attorney General, the road to a statewide ballot measure includes passing muster with the Ohio Ballot Board and would require at least 305,591 Ohio voter signatures to qualify.  In other words, CELDF is on step two of the 28 total steps it will take implement an actual statewide citizens-initiated constitutional amendment. In addition, despite what CELDF claimed in a press release announcing the decision this week, the group has had nothing but failures in other “similar” attempts in other states (a fact most media outlets failed to note). […]

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