Fracking Industry Distorts Science To Deceive Public And Policymakers, Says Watchdog Group

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The oil and gas industry sponsors and spins research to shape the scientific debate over horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That’s the conclusion of a watchdog group’s analysis of more than 130 documents distributed to policymakers by industry representatives.

“Research and statistics can be manipulated to say whatever the person using them wants to say,” said Robert Galbraith, an analyst with the nonprofit Public Accountability Initiative and co-author of the report released on Wednesday. Public Accountability Initiative, which describes itself as a non-partisan advocate of corporate and government transparency, receives some financial support from groups opposed to fracking.

Energy in Depth, the oil and gas industry’s education and public outreach arm, presents its list of documents as evidence of the safety of a process that has been “closely regulated and extensively studied.” The industry used the documents to persuade the Allegheny County Council in Pittsburgh in May to lease mineral rights under its Deer Lakes Park for gas drilling.

Public Accountability Initiative’s analysis determined that only one of the industry studies was both peer-reviewed and explicitly addressed public health concerns. That study was funded by the industry. Also on the industry’s research list: retracted studies, industry PowerPoint presentations —> Read More Here


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