JULY 24, 2012
Gas drillers are funding university research that -- surprise surprise surprise -- supports the use of fracking to drill for natural gas.
Hydraulic fracturing -- commonly known as "fracking" -- has been linked to polluted drinking water, water faucets that ignite when in contact with a flame, and earthquakes, and the drillers still refuse to reveal all of the toxic chemicals used in the process. (get more facts on fracking here)
And the use of fracking is spreading fast, with wealthy industry advocates pushing for pro-fracking legislation in many states.
Groups like Environmental Action have been trying to educate its members and the rest of the public on fracking's dangers, and having to battle possibly tainted pro-industry research isn't going to make our jobs any easier.
Frackers are taking a page from the tobacco industry's playbook -- pay scientists to do research that invariably concludes that the dangers are minimal and the benefits enormous. From the Bloomberg article, some examples:
-- Pennsylvania State University released a 2009 report that predicted natural gas drillers would not come to Pennsylvania if the state imposed taxes on gas production. Lawmakers cited the study in 2010 when they rejected a proposed 5 percent tax hike. The study, we now know, was funded by gas drillers and led by an economist with a history of pro-industry research.
-- A University of Texas professor helmed a study earlier this year that found no evidence of ground-water contamination from fracking. The professor failed to mention that he's a board member of a gas production company, hacing received more than $400,000 in 2011 alone. Good work if you can get it.
-- In May, the State University of New York at Buffalo released an error-filled report on shale gas without acknowledging that its authors had ties to the gas industry. One of the authors was the same economist who wrote the Penn State study.
It's all part of the frack attack happening across the US. You can help strike back at the frackers this Saturday, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where Environmental Action is joining several other large environmental groups for the Stop the Frack Attack rally. You can also sign our petition demanding Congress ban fracking permanently.