Document exposes web of deceit among Kasich, ODNR, Big Oil

On Feb. 14, a 13-page plan was released from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the Sierra Club as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. It outlines a public-relations campaign to be adopted by ODNR and the Gov. John Kasich administration to sell the idea of unconventional shale gas hydrofracking in state parks and state forests as being in the people’s best interest.

Apparently they anticipated it would be a tough sell. The memo enumerates which groups could be relied upon as “allies” to their cause (mostly natural-gas industry groups and various Chambers of Commerce). It also contains an enemies list (aka “opposition groups” ), which includes numerous environmental groups as well as Rep. Bob Hagan and Rep. Nickie Antonio.

Now ODNR is reaping what it sowed. The hornets’ nest has been stirred, and I doubt the issue will just fade away. The ODNR is now the object of righteous indignation from Hagan and Antonio and also from what the authors of the document call “the eco-left.”

I myself am a proud member of the “eco-left.” And if I wasn’t already part of a group concerned about public health and the environment, this document, having exposed the tangled web of deceit spun by ODNR, the Kasich administration, and Big Oil, would surely inspire me to join one.

Raymond Vershum , Canfield