Local residents say their names are being used fraudently but a lobbying group claims otherwise

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 17:54:09-04

A Brunswick man said his name was used on an official letter sent to the federal government to show support for a proposed natural gas pipeline, but he never sent the letter.

“It’s crazy," said Albert Oliver. "I’ve never said none of those words. I don’t have a typewriter, I don’t have a computer to make a letter as such.”

If approved, the Nexus pipeline would be installed in 2017 and run from eastern Ohio through Medina County and connect to an existing pipeline system in Southeast Michigan.

Oliver said he opposes the pipeline but has never voiced his opinion about it publicly.

The letter, addressed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, reads, "Approving this pipeline is common sense, and I urge you to do so." It closes with Oliver's full name.

“I consider it to be a total travesty really,” added Oliver.

The head of the Consumer Energy Alliance, or CEA, a lobbying group out of Houston, said his organization generated Oliver's letter because they got his approval to do so.

“We only send letters that have the proper authorization and again we have full documentation for all of that," said David Holt, president of CEA.Ther

But Oliver denies that.

“I think this is just an easy way out for these people to get what they want," he added.

Holt said CEA made automatic phone calls over the last six weeks to Ohio residents to garner support for the pipeline. During those phone calls, CEA got permission from the recipient of the call to send a letter to FERC.

Holt said the names on the letters are the names on official phone records. They are not necessarily the person who participates in the automatic call.

Oliver said no one in his household participated in an automatic call regarding the pipeline.

FERC said it encourages anyone who feels like their name has been misrepresented to send them a letter explaining that. More information can be found at