As Ohio moves forward with leasing public lands for oil and gas fracking, allegations that supporters filed fraudulent letters in favor of these leases — using real Ohioans’ identities without their consent — have prompted the state attorney general to investigate.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation in January mandating mineral rights leases to oil and gas drilling companies for fracking operations beneath Ohio State Parks and other public lands. Oil and gas companies have nominated dozens of tracts of land for leasing since the law took effect May 30.

public comment period for a nomination to lease mineral rights for fracking beneath Salt Fork State Park – the state’s largest at approximately 7,000 acres – closes September 25.

Environmental groups and concerned citizens continue to protest the use of public lands for fracking.

Now, some Ohio residents say their names appear on emailed letters they didn’t write, that urge Ohio’s Oil and Gas Land Management Commission to support state land mineral leases and develop oil and gas resources.

According to a report by Jake Zuckerman on the cleveland.com website, one bore the signature of a 9-year-old child. Read more.