(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has completed an inquiry into certain tactics used to convince Ohio landowners in the Yellow Springs area to sign leases for oil and gas industry rights.
“I am concerned any time Ohio citizens might have been deceived,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Based on an inquiry from three State Representatives who asked for my office to investigate, I committed to look into this matter. And that is what we have done in the Attorney General’s Office. We also want to help educate homeowners about this issue.”
The original request asked Attorney General DeWine to investigate whether homeowners had been defrauded, after a homeowner found a document on a driveway near Yellow Springs. The document appears to be an oil and gas exploration company’s instructions on how to convince Ohio landowners to sign leases, allowing the company to possibly drill for natural resources using a method called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”
After several trips to Yellow Springs, an Ohio Attorney General investigator talked with a dozen local landowners and law enforcement personnel. In addition, an assistant attorney general interviewed employees and an agent of the only oil and gas exploration company found operating in the Yellow Springs area. No evidence indicated that the document belonged to that company or that it was used in the attempt to mislead homeowners into signing an oil and gas lease.
“The presence of shale beds beneath our state means Ohio homeowners should expect that oil and gas leasing issues will continue,” said Attorney General DeWine. “I want consumers to be well-informed about ‘fracking’ issues and that’s why we are creating a new web page to offer tips to homeowners.”
Homeowners should not be pressured into any decision, and they should obtain all the details in writing.
Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Read Attorney General DeWine's blog post on oil and gas exploration and drilling.
Read the letter sent to Attorney General DeWine requesting the inquiry.
Read Attorney General DeWine's response letter.