Is or isn’t fracking bad for the environment and for people? That is a question that has become central to many communities where fracking has become commonplace. One of the most controversial fracking studies has now come under fire after a peer review revealed that the author sat on the board of a drilling company, and had collected over $1.5 million in compensation.
The original report was authored by Dr. Charles “Chip” Groat, who was employed by UT Austin’s Energy Institute. The report, entitled “Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in the Shale Gas Development”, claimed that there was no evidence linking fracking with water contamination.
But the Public Accountability Initivative revealed Dr. Groat was sitting on the board of directors for the Plains Exploration & Production company, which is heavily invested in fracking, at the time he authored the study. He has been compensated $1.5 million for his work, and failed to disclose that he sat on the board in the report. While Groat claims his role in writing the report is small, the scandal was enough to seriously damage the reports credibility.
While Groat claims his position did not influence the report, it is a small wonder why the disclosure wasn’t included in the report. The dishonesty of this report had put a big dent into pro-fracking politics, which commissioned this report specifically to counter other reports that showed fracking not only contaminates ground water, but has been linked to earthquakes and flammable tap water as well.
It’s getting harder and harder to figure out who to trust these days, eh?
Source: State Impact