Friday, December 07, 2012

University of Texas withdraws fracking paper after professor's ties to industry appear to taint it

The University of Texas said today that it has accepted the highly critical findings of an independent review of a recent report on potential impacts of shale-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing by the school’s Energy Institute. Andrew C. Revkin of The New York Times reports that the review did not expressly question the quality of the study, but did have serious problems with lead investigator Dr. Chip Groat's lack of transparency about the study's funding.

Groat has reportedly received more than $400,000 in compensation from a shale-gas development corporation of which he was a director and owned more than $1 million in stock. Groat retired last month and the institute’s director, Raymond Orbach, has resigned. The school said it has withdrawn from the Energy Institute’s website documents related to the report and will submit them for fresh review by experts.  (Read more) To read Revkin's earlier reporting about the matter, go here.

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