‘Informational’ Sponsor Leaves Cause for Doubt

Morgantown Dominion Post
31 March 2011
Letter to the Editor

The West Virginia University Extension Service is sponsoring a series of seminars to educate the public and “reassure” them about Marcellus shale drilling.

As a researcher and scientist who has attended many “informational” meetings, as well has read hundreds of scientific papers, the first thing I do is look at who is sponsoring the information.

If it’s a drug company telling me how wonderful its new drug is, I seriously question it. I want a dispassionate scientific accounting of all the facts about that drug.

(Remember all the recalls over the years? “Oops” doesn’t really make up for the damage done by slanted advertising, twisted educational seminars that gloss over side effects and withhold pertinent facts and lobbying).

I apply the same rule to most of my life and to the WVU Extension Service “talks” about Marcellus shale drilling.

I note from the last sentence of its (the extension’s) website that the funding for the “educational” programs is provided by Chesapeake Energy, EQT Corp. and Dominion.

In the past I have gratefully trusted the extension service as a source of education and aid that stood above politics and big business. I am woefully disappointed.

Cyla Allison, Ph.D. Hillsboro