Updated: Frackademia to study North Texas fracking earthquakes

Frackademic: noun – An academic aligned with frackers to lend credibility to fracking.

Frackademia: verb – To act or work as such a person to provide credibility to frackers: “we’ve aligned with Univ. of Buffalo. We’ve done a variety of other activities where we’ve gotten the academics to sponsor programs and bring in people for public sessions to educate them on a variety of different topics.”

The UK has decided to finally say no to Tobacademics as they announced in October that UK medical journals will no longer accept Tobacademia or research funded by the tobacco industry.

“time to cease supporting the now discredited notion that tobacco industry-funded research is just like any other research.”

“The tobacco industry has a long history of manipulating and distorting the scientific debate. They have funded research and researchers to undermine the strong scientific evidence of the harm tobacco causes.

joe camel in fracklandiaIn 2009, I started writing about how closely the fracking industry resembles the tobacco industry. They use the same playbook and even trade players. And the fracking industry has it’s very own version of Joe Camel.

Source Watch has chronicled many Frackademia scandals in the U.S.

Now NBC5 tells us that Frackademia, TCU’s Energy Institute, will team up with what has been called the most corrupt of the corrupt regulatory agencies in Texas, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), to study the cause of the most recent outbreak of earthquakes in North Texas.

Dr. Ken Morgan, PhD, is the head of TCU’s Energy Institute and he already has his mind made up that it is not possible that fracking is a factor.

Morgan said, however, in his belief, fracking is not a possible cause of the Parker County earthquakes.

The RRC is likeminded.

…staff has not identified a significant correlation between these disposal wells and small earthquakes.

The U.S. government and scientists disagree with Morgan and the RRC.

Cliff Frohlich, Associate Director of the Institute for Geophysics University of Texas at Austin, has lead research into links between oil and gas drilling activity and manmade earthquakes. His study of earthquakes in the Barnett Shale found that disposal wells were responsible.

Mapped: The Latest Earthquake Swarm in Texas
NOVEMBER 20, 2013 | 2:00 PM

Early in the fracking earthquake adventure, Frohlich thought like Morgan that it was not possible for fracking to cause earthquakes. But he has changed his mind on that.

A year ago, I would have told you that fracking never caused earthquakes. However, in the last year there have three well-documented earthquakes that occurred during the frack job and were probably related to fracking.

How fracking, drilling and earthquakes are linked
Terrence Henry
February 8, 2012

My blog post, Tap dancing around fracking earthquakes, has information about how injection and earthquakes are linked and we’ve known this since the 1960s.

StateImpact has a handy map that shows the location of the most recent quakes in relation to the injection wells.

UPDATE: Don’t miss the comments. BWah-hahaha

There was another earthquake in North Texas last night–2.2M. Same area. Event Page

11-23-13 Another earthquake, 2,9M, Saturday morning. Event Page

11.25.13 Sleeping neighbors got a jolt this morning by a 3.3M Event Page – new cracks forming in brick and stairs.


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. Alberta Neighbor says

    Maybe the US could take a page from Canada:

    “… The most memorable moment was when Dr. John Cherry, the renowned hydrogeologist from the University of Guelph, characterized the activities in the U.S. as a grand experiment with no proper scientific research on the effects of hydrofracturing on the environment.

    He challenged the funding mechanisms for such research in the U.S. because of the ties between universities and industry (or other parties), and indicated that the U.S. would be better off with a funding system similar to that in Canada, where the funding is not similarly tied and thus scientific research can proceed relatively unencumbered.”


    Apparently this is what “unencumbered” looks like in Canada.

    – “Cenovus donates $3 Million to the University of Alberta

    – Gwyn Morgan, President and past CEO of Encana honoured by University of Alberta

    – EnCana Donates $7.5 Million to the University of Alberta

    – EnCana to Donate $1 Million to the University of Calgary

    – EnCana $1 Million Donation to University of Calgary Questioned as Company Awaits Energy Decision

    – Talisman pledges $1.25 M to Mount Royal University, Alberta

    – Encana donates $1.5 Million to Mount Royal University

    – University of Calgary Prostitutes Itself To Big Oil & Gas

    – Encana donates $1 million to Red Deer College

    – Million-dollar Nexen donation to Mount Royal University

    – Cenovus donates $3 Million to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

    – Is the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology overflowing with oil money?”

    – Cenovus donates $1.5 million to Lakeland College

    – Imperial Oil donates $1 Million to Mount Royal University

    – Trican Donates $5 million for cancer research at the University of Calgary

    – Enbridge Donates $500,000 to the Alberta School of Business

    – Enbridge donates 1.2 million to the University of Calgary, research chair first of its kind dedicated to holistic cancer care

    – Enbridge Donates $500,000 to the Alberta School of Business.”

    Nevermind …


    Sharon, your post is so déjà vu. When residents outside of Calgary complained of frac quakes, structural damage to homes and outbuildings, and broken windows – they got the same roll-up-the-red-carpet treatment and a new “project” was trotted out.

    We only have to wait 2 more years for the results while companies drill and frac as fast as they can … and guess who’s “studying” it, and who’s picking up half the tab …

    “Researchers in Alberta are digging into a controversial technique used to extract natural gas and oil that some say causes earthquakes.

    Teams from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta want to listen to hydraulic fracture treatments or fracking, as it’s more commonly known.

    ‘What it involves is installation of sensors that are called geophones, usually in a deep borehole, but sometimes also at the surface,’ David Eaton, a University of Calgary geophysics professor and lead investigator, said Thursday.

    ‘The geophones are used to measure ground vibrations and if you measure ground vibrations at three or more locations, it’s possible to then triangulate the location where seismic waves are created. And they’re created at tiny, micro-earthquakes that occur during the frack treatment process.’

    … ‘We do want to make sure that…fracks stay in the target zone where they’re intended to go and also that they’re aren’t any concerns about triggering of earth tremors that might be above the threshold for magnitude that people would consider acceptable.’

    Eaton said the research will take place at locations in Western Canada.

    The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is providing half of the money for the three-year, $1.86 million university project.

    The rest will come from 10 industry partners, including ConocoPhillips, Cameco, Shell, Husky, Nexen and Encana.

    Eaton said the industry funding will not affect their findings.

    ‘We do take the challenge very seriously to maintain high academic integrity through this project and our industry partners know this.'”


  2. Don Young says

    I have done my own study of Morgan. He and I were invited to talk to a group of high school kids on the subject of fracking in an accelerated summer program. The kids’ task was to decide who made the best arguments and whether or not fracking should be banned in Fort Worth. I did my homework and pointed out the usual list of dangers and atrocities. The kids ate it up and seemed poised to ban fracking. Then Morgan spoke about all the money the kids parents would make and how chemicals in fracking formulas were also used in making ice cream. It was a close vote but Morgan won by a cone.

  3. Anymous says

    All these colleges and universities in Texas are loaded up with mineral interests. For instance, when Tx joined the union, Tx maintained ownership in all it’s public lands, much of which was eventually given to the various colleges and universities (including mineral interests). So the C&U’s get the royalties. Also, the C&U’s in Tx are loaded up with donated mineral interests via probate of estates. Also, the O&G frackers make many donations to the various professors to do “research” for them. Just another way to cheaply buy them off. And on & on it goes. So, don’t trust frackademia in Texas!