Save Ohio Parks promotes Feb. 26 commission meeting and fossil fuels rally Emergency stay filed to delay fracking bid approval
Meeting with people protesting

Citizens at the Nov. 15, 2023 Oil and Gas Land Management Commission protest the commission’s decision to accept bids to frack under Ohio’s state parks and public lands. The next OGLMC meeting is set for Monday, Feb. 26 in Columbus.

The Oil and Gas Land Management Commission (OGLMC) will meet Monday, Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m.-but a Franklin County judge may stay its decisions to award oil and gas bids to frack Salt Fork State Park and Valley Run and Zepernick wildlife areas.

EarthJustice and Ohio Environmental Council announced yesterday they filed an emergency stay to suspend and delay OGLMC orders to frack, pending a decision on the appeal by Save Ohio Parks, Buckeye Environmental Network, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers of OGLMC's Nov. 15 decision to approve nominations of these areas for fracking.

A decision by Court of Common Pleas Judge Jaiza Page on the emergency stay was requested by Friday, Feb. 25.

The Feb. 26 OGLMC meeting venue has been changed from Ohio Department of Natural Resources headquarters to the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety, Charles D. Shipley Building Atrium, 1970 W. Broad St. in Columbus. Save Ohio Parks said there may be a heavy police presence at this venue at the Feb. 26 meeting and warns audience members of possible arrest if they cause disruptions. The Nov. 15 OGLMC meeting was called "raucous" by media after attendees shouted against fracking Ohio's state parks and public lands and protested the secretive nature of OGLMC's process that muzzled the public's right to speak at OGLMC meeting and engage in the democratic process.

Save Ohio Parks is the statewide, all-volunteer group concerned about harm to the environment, people's health, methane air emissions and freshwater depletion and pollution from fracking Ohio's public lands.

"Unless the judge grants the emergency stay, the commission is likely to award oil and gas bids to frack our state parks and public lands at this meeting," said Loraine McCosker, steering committee member for Save Ohio Parks. "Anyone who cares about the damage fracking and fossil fuels cause to our health; climate; Ohio forests and natural places; our clean air and fresh water; or our democratic process should attend this meeting."

Save Ohio Parks reminds the public that:

.  Natural gas fracking causes methane air emissions that are 80 percent more potent than greenhouse gases from carbon dioxide and accelerate climate change. Proximity to fracking well pads increases cancers, asthmas, fertility issues and other chronic illnesses.

.  Fracking uses up to 16 million gallons (equivalent to 24 Olympic swimming pools) of fresh water from lakes, rivers and streams per fracked well, per fracking. Unregulated toxic chemicals and sand are used to "crack" molecules of oil and natural gas deep underground. This process poisons the water with radioactive waste, resulting in "produced water" that must be stored in underground injection wells for generations-taking it out of our usable water supply forever.

.  These wells can leak, and do. At least three injection wells storing produced water are currently leaking near Athens, Ohio, posing an imminent danger to human health and the area's water supply.

.  Fracking destroys habitats for forests, plants, animals, fish and insects.

The Feb.26 OGLMC meeting was announced despite three pending legal actions in Ohio regarding fracking.

These include a lawsuit challenging the legality of H.B. 507, which mandated fracking Ohio's public lands; a pending state investigation by Attorney General Dave Yost regarding 1,100 allegedly fraudulent, pro-fracking emails submitted to the OGLMC by an oil and gas industry PR firm; and an appeal of the Nov. 15  OGLMC decision to frack Salt Fork State Park and Zepernick and Valley Run wildlife areas.

"We want people to attend the OGLMC meeting, but also want to communicate the restrictiveness and potential volatility of this meeting," said McCosker. "OGLMC already told us that signs will not be allowed in the meeting area. Honestly, is that even legal in Ohio?"

Also on Feb. 26, Save Ohio Parks has teamed with Third Act Ohio to organize a second event at 12:30 p.m. to protest insurance companies and their support of fossil fuels.

Third Act Ohio engages seniors over 60 years old working to limit and fight climate change.

The groups will rally on the public High Street sidewalk outside of Nationwide Insurance headquarters, One Nationwide Plaza, 1 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215.

The protest will highlight hypocritical tactics American insurance companies engage in that cancel homeowner insurance policies or re-sells them to other companies, which jack up homeowner premiums due to hurricane or flood risk.

These same insurance companies use customer premium payments to invest in fossil fuels-- which contribute to increased extreme weather events and climate change.

"Nationwide, headquartered in Ohio, has $4.5 billion invested in fossil fuels, yet they are dropping more than 10,000 policy holders in North Carolina due to hurricane risks," said Cathy Cowan Becker, another SOP steering committee member. "Nationwide is just one of many U.S. insurance companies engaging in this kind of behavior. It's wrong for insurance companies to use money from our premium payments to invest in the causes of the climate crisis, then leave homeowners holding the bag when climate-fueled disasters strike. Nationwide needs to divest from fossil fuels driving the climate crisis, or we need to take our insurance dollars somewhere else."

Save Ohio Parks asks attendees of the commission meeting to register at, and attendees of the Nationwide protest to register at, so it can keep people informed of last-minute changes or street closures.

For more information about fracking under our state parks and public lands, visit

For information on Third Act, visit

emergency stay to suspend and delay.
80 percent more potent.

cause increased cancers, fertility issues, asthmas and other chronic
Unregulated toxic chemicals.

three leaking injection wells. 
Sierra Club lawsuit.

1,100 allegedly fraudulent, pro-fracking emails.
appeal of the Nov. 15 OGLMC decision.