Colleges Re-Evaluate Industry Funding After Shale Report Controversies

"As scrutiny increases over the relationship between oil and gas industry funding and academic research, universities are likely to take a second look at their conflict-of-interest guidelines."

"Last month, the State University of New York at Buffalo shuttered its troubled Shale Resources and Society Institute, and the University of Texas, Austin, last week conceded major faults in its February report that found little evidence of environmental damage rendered by hydraulic fracturing.

The Texas review was accompanied by a news release stating that lead researcher Charles "Chip" Groat and Energy Institute Director Raymond Orbach had resigned (EnergyWire, Dec. 10). The reviewers said the institute's research fell short of academic standards primarily because of Groat's failure to disclose that he sat on the board of Houston-based drilling firm Plains Exploration & Production Co., but also because of the institution's weak conflict-of-interest standards."

Pamela King reports for EnergyWire December 11, 2012.

Source: EnergyWire, 12/12/2012