Gas has been found in at least three water wells in Pennsylvania and state regulators are trying to determine if gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale is to blame.
Did you ever see Thank You for Smoking?
Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is the Vice President of and the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, a tobacco lobby whose stated purpose is to research the links between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. Unsurprisingly, the group, funded by cigarette companies, does not find any link between the two.
My Prediction: State regulators won’t find any proof that gas in the water wells was caused by drilling despite the FACT that “a Jan. 1 explosion shattered a cement slab covering one of the wells.”
A case study in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health shows the extent to which the tobaccoindustry works to derail research — and researchers — that could adversely affect it. The study examines the experiences of University of California cardiology professor Stanton Glantz, who researches a wide range of tobacco-related topics, from the effects o fsecondhand smoke on the heart, to the reductions in heart attacks observed when smokefree policies are enacted, to how the tobacco industry influences legislation and fights tobacco control programs.
Between 1988 and 1998, the industry quietly worked through third parties to denigrate Glantz to his superiors and publicly portray him as extremist, unqualified or politically motivated. They ran ads against him in major newspapers, paid scientists to write letters to publications discrediting his work and formed front groups to try and create the appearance of a grassroots uprising against his work. They brought several lawsuits against Glantz and his institution, and worked through tobacco-friendly legislators to try and cut off federal funding for his research.
The authors point out how such extreme attacks by industry can influence policymaking and discourage other scientists from doing work that may expose them to similar attacks. They conclude that the support of scientists’ employers is crucial to the continued advancement of public health.
The oil and gas industry also makes liberal use of a practice widely used by the tobacco industry: hush money–give the victims a huge pile of cash and make them sign a non disclosure agreement.