Conflicts, Errors Revealed In Positive Fracking Study
U Texas "Independent" study was found to be funded by natural
NPR - All Thing Considered
7 December 2012
by Wade Goodwyn
A report that shed favorable light on fracking is at the center of
a controversy at the University of Texas. The head of the school's
Energy Institute has stepped down and another professor has
retired after an investigation found numerous errors and flaws in
the report — and undisclosed conflicts of interest.
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A University of Texas study that says hydraulic natural gas
fracturing is safe has been withdrawn, and its author has retired
and left the university. From Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn has
WADE GOODWYN: The fracking study is now a black eye to the
University of Texas after an independent review of national
experts found it scientifically unsound and tainted by conflicts
of interest. The author of the study, Dr. Charles Groat, retired
in the wake of the scathing review, and the university announced
that Dr. Raymond Orbach, head of the university's Energy Institute
that released the study, has resigned his position.
The original fracking study concluded that hydraulic fracturing
was safe, the danger of water contamination low and suggestions to
the contrary mostly media bias. But then it was reported this
summer that Professor Groat sat on the board of a natural gas
drilling company and received more than a million and a half
dollars in compensation. That information was not disclosed in
In a statement, the University of Texas said it accepted the
findings of the independent review.
This is the third time in three months that fracking research by
energy-friendly university industry consortiums has been
The Shale Resources Institute at the State University of New York
at Buffalo was closed after questions were raised about the
quality and independence of its work. And an industry
canceled their fracking study after professors at Penn State
University refused to participate.
Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Dallas.
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