Thu May 24, 2012
Research group takes aim at UB fracking study
A Buffalo based non-profit research and education group says a recent University at Buffalo study on hydraulic fracturing is seriously flawed and biased.
Earlier this month UB released the study on the environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling, claiming environmental incidents based on fracking have dropped dramatically in Pennsylvania in recent years due to better regulation.
But the Public Accountability Initiative says data in the UB report actually indicated that major environmental risks increased between 2008 and 2011. Initiative director Kevin Connor claims there are significant errors and distortions in the report.
"We found the data in the report actually contradicted its central conclusion that fracking was becoming less environmentally risky. We found that the rate of major environmental accidents actually increased over the period studied by more than 30 percent," Connor said.
The report also criticizes the UB study for copying some of its data without attribution from a pro-fracking report issued last year and says its co-authors have close ties to the drilling industry.
"The UB report also copies entire passages from a Manhattan Institute report that took an explicitly pro-fracking position. We also found that the report's authors have extensive ties to the natural gas industry, which may explain the report's obvious bias," said Connor.
"Our findings suggest that the UB study was really just industry misinformation masquerading as academic research.
The authors of the study indicated it was fully funded by UB.