Patton Boggs threatened scientists to prevent release of diesel exhaust health study

Patton Boggs

I’ve blogged about Patton Boggs before. They visit my blog regularly because they are a law firm and lobbyists for the oil and gas industry as well as the mining industry.

Patton Boggs are masters of misinformation and they don’t want us to know how damaging diesel exhaust is for health so they are threatening people to keep the findings of an $11.5-million government funded health study quiet.

Journals Warned to Keep a Tight Lid on Diesel Exposure Data
by Sam Kean on 17 February 2012, 2:46 PM

Editors with at least four research publications say they have received a letter advising them against “publication or other distribution” of data and draft documents. The warning, including a vague statement about “consequences” that could ensue if the advice is ignored, is signed by Henry Chajet, an attorney at the Patton Boggs firm in Washington, D.C., and a lobbyist for the Mining Awareness Resource Group, which works on behalf of the mining industry.

The findings of the study could cause National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to change their designation of diesel exhaust as a “potential” carcinogen.

The diesel exhaust from unconventional shale oil and gas extraction is considerable.

You might remember that Aruba exposed Tim and Christine Ruggiero to 380 ppm of NOX which added up to 10,000 years of NOX exposure.

From the TCEQ investigation report :“Continuous operations of three diesel engines greater than 400 horse power at this site resulted in significant emissions of nitrogen oxides. An estimate of maximum nitrogen oxide concentration over one hour on the complaintant’s property was predicted using SCREEN3, an air dispersion model, to be 380 parts per billion.”

No enforcement action is taken by the TCEQ, but rather a recommendation

“Aruba should consider using nitrogen oxide controls on its diesel engines in situations where potential for off-site impacts are high.”

Obviously Aruba did not consider the TCEQ’s recommendation.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Robert Finne says

    The gas industry was asked to utilize their own “clean burning” fuel in their field operations to reduce emissions. Here’s their answer from American Petroleum Institute…

    “In fact, API contends there are good economic, operational, and logistical reasons for using diesel in engines at oil and gas production sites. There are few rigs today that run on any fuel other than diesel. It is not a simple matter of switching fuel sources, substantial mechanical modification of the engines is required.”

    They don’t even want to burn their own crap to reduce their emissions while they produce their crap.

    • Tim Ruggiero says

      Hit the nail on the head, Robert. This API statement is understandable. However, I would say that it alao means they should stop pretendiing that natural gas is a ‘bridge fuel’. If there is no movement by the frackers to move in that direction, then it’s pretty clear to me that it’s all about the money and nothing else.