Frackademia is back and it’s worse than we thought

Industry is funding “training” programs for regulators and legislators. As I learned at the “PSYPOS Conference” this is what the industry calls “inoculation.”

At Universities, Fracking Research Funded by Oil and Gas Companies
Critics question the legitimacy of industry-funded ‘frackademia.’

In a story on frackademia, Bloomberg wrote, “producers are taking a page from the tobacco industry playbook: funding research at established universities that arrives at conclusions that counter concerns raised by critics.”

But the Observer has found that UT’s fracking connections don’t end there. In March, UT’s Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineeringannounced that ExxonMobil and GE—two companies with large stakes in shale gas—would each donate $1 million to fund a training program for regulators and policymakers on fracking. (As part of the deal, Penn State University and the Colorado School of Mines will develop similar programs.)

I’m sure industry makes available the main component of the inoculation process: The Rig Tour™. But these regulators and legislators are not offered the the Reality Based Gas Patch Tour©.

This is not a real training program. It is a true inoculation.

As Denton Drilling Blog points out, the problem with Frackademia is the tough questions that go unasked.

Another problem is the tough questions that get asked that no one can answer:

I have asked many scientists this question: What is the additional risk to our children when they go from breathing 7 chemicals to a cocktail of 65 chemicals. To date, no one has been able to answer with anything besides, “We don’t know.”

 

 

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.

Comments

  1. Fracking Crazy says

    “Another problem is the tough questions that get asked that no one can answer:

    I have asked many scientists this question: What is the additional risk to our children when they go from breathing 7 chemicals to a cocktail of 65 chemicals. To date, no one has been able to answer with anything besides, “We don’t know.””

    Unfortunately we will know in about 6 years, and then, well, there won’t be anything we can do to change what has already happened.

    All we can do is our best to educate people from it happening to them.

    What I can say is I will not vote for:
    Keystone Pipeline
    Abolish EPA and give power to the states.
    Those are the big issues for me this election.

  2. Anonymous says

    The Frackademianites all want to study more and more and get more money to do so–from the GasHoles, of course. So the answer will ALWAYS be the appropriate one to aid the ones who have funded the “study”. The whole thing is a big waste of tax money at our state universities. In Tx the worse ones are in order from worse to least-worse, UT, A&M, Texas Tech, SMU, UofH, TCU. These universites ALL have large mineral interests and get donations of royalties and minerals from former students–so they are very much all bought-off!

  3. Anonymous says

    Forgot to mention that if a professor or research scientist at a Tx university concludes(in a study report) something bad about O&G, then he/she will be side-tracked and if they continue along this path, they will be eventually derailed.
    Oh, they can conclude something bad, along the lines of “they deliberately misrepresented the correct phone number in this report” or “the operator was found to be operating with an expired inspection sticker on one of it’s vehicles”.

  4. Tillotson says

    As a published researcher, I can only imagine how tempting it is to take their grant money. Your department head is always ragging on everyone to bring in outside grant money and the guys getting tenure are CLEARLY the guys bringing in the most coin. It has to be really tempting.