23 Jul 2012:
Some University Fracking Studies
Funded by Industry Groups, Report Says
Several university-led studies that have downplayed concerns about the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing have been funded in part by drilling companies themselves, Bloomberg News reports
. Bloomberg cited, for example, a 2009 report published by Pennsylvania State University
predicting that drilling companies would shun projects in that state if required to pay a 5 percent tax on drilling revenues. But researchers did not disclose that their study had been funded in part by a $100,000 grant from a drilling industry group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition. A University of Texas researcher who found no evidence of groundwater contamination from fracking received more than $400,000 from a Texas fracking company, Bloomberg said. And a study from the State University of New York at Buffalo concluding that regulations have helped curb the environmental impacts of fracking did not acknowledge extensive industry ties. “It’s a growing problem across academia,” Mark Partridge, a professor of rural-urban policy at the Ohio State University, told Bloomberg. “Universities are so short of money, professors are under a lot of pressure to raise research funding in any manner possible.”
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