Top Louisiana University Lets Oil Firms Influence Research – For A Price

"Louisiana State University allowed Shell to influence studies after a $25m donation and sought funds from other fossil fuel firms".

"For $5m, Louisiana’s flagship university will let an oil company weigh in on faculty research activities. Or, for $100,000, a corporation can participate in a research study, with “robust” reviewing powers and access to all resulting intellectual property.

Those are the conditions outlined in a boilerplate document that Louisiana State University’s fundraising arm circulated to oil majors and chemical companies affiliated with the Louisiana Chemical Association, an industry lobbying group, according to emails disclosed in response to a public records request by the Lens.

Records show that after Shell donated $25m in 2022 to LSU to create the Institute for Energy Innovation, the university gave the fossil fuel corporation license to influence research and coursework for the university’s new concentration in carbon capture, use and storage.

Afterward, LSU’s fundraising entity, the LSU Foundation, used this partnership as a model to shop around to members of the Louisiana Chemical Association, such as ExxonMobil, Air Products and CF Industries, which have proposed carbon capture projects in Louisiana."

This story is co-published with the Lens, a non-profit newsroom in New Orleans

Sara Sneath reports for the Guardian April 21, 2024.

Source: Guardian/Lens, 04/23/2024