The article mainly focuses on the Natural Gas Industry bashing studies which were funded by "environmental" sources.
There's only one paragraph mentioning "industry" money and buying science, as follows:
"Industry groups have received their share of criticism for funding studies as well, including several industry-funded papers from Pennsylvania State University that have found great potential for job creation and gas production from drilling into the Marcellus Shale."
We'll try to remedy the Ithaca Journal's "oversight" by connecting a few "dots".
1. In October 2007, Engelder was named a distinguished lecturer for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. That position brought him to the attention of Chandra, the investment banker. Wall Street's interest had already been piqued by the success of the Barnett Shale in Texas, but analysts thought it was a unique formation. Just as Zagorski had realized, Chandra grew to understand that Barnett and Marcellus bore intriguing similarities. What investment firm Jefferies Group needed was someone who knew the rock. ``We looked around and Terry seemed at the time to be a geologist focused specifically in Pennsylvania or the Appalachian region,'' Chandra said.
Chandra is Subash Chandra, managing director for Jefferies Group, an investment group. Jefferies has a whole area dedicated to ENERGY INVESTMENT BANKING.
Terry Engelder is a professor at Penn State, and since 2007, has become the "go to person" for pumping the shale gas.
Heading up the Jefferies Energy Investment Banking, is Ralph Eads III.
Ralph Eads is vice chairman of Jefferies & Co., Inc., a U.S. investment bank, where he chairs the firm's global energy section. He also serves on the board of the American Clean Skies Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization that provides information about environmental and energy issues.
Jefferies & Co Energy Investments has helped Chesapeake Energy close on many big deals.
American Clean Skies Foundation is a front group for Chesapeake Energy. Aubrey McClendon is CEO of Chesapeake Energy.
On the Duke University donor profile link, Ralph Eads III is described as "...fraternity brother, close friend, and fellow donor/volunteer Aubrey McClendon.
2. Terry Pegula, former CEO of East Resources, "donated" $88million to Penn State for a hockey arena. He was interviewed by a Penn State student publication and asked about the "donation"
“If you could tell students here at Penn State one thing, what would it be?”
He (Pegula) paused for just a millisecond before saying,
” I would tell students that this contribution could be just the tip of the iceberg, the first of many such gifts, if the development of the Marcellus Shale is allowed to proceed.”
Now ask yourself, if the $88-million was an above board honest donation for a hockey arena - why did Pegula mention Marcellus shale?
On a side note: Terry Pegula, and his wife, Kim, donated $280,000 to the 2010 Tom Corbett to his campaign for Pennsylvania Governor. Their combined total makes them the #1 individual donor.
The #2 highest individual donor was Ronald Krancer, father of Michael Krancer (the now PA-DEP Secretary) at $230,000.
3. Training the Hens to Guard themselves?
Now the industry will pay to train the people who set policy and enforce it.
ExxonMobil and GE will be investing $1 million each to establish new training programs at three universities, including Penn State, “to ensure that regulators and policymakers have access to the latest technological and operational expertise to assist in their oversight of shale development,” according to a Penn State press release issued Thursday.
With money from the drilling industry, Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research will offer a new “Shale Gas Regulators Training Program” to provide “best-practices training” to people who oversee the drilling industry.
The center’s co-director, Tom Murphy, said in a press release the program will “offer new regulators the chance to learn the latest science-based concepts related to geology, petroleum technology and environmental quality.”
Until now, Murphy had maintained that the Marcellus Center operated free and clear of industry funding.
A study was recently released by the University of Texas on connection between Fracking and Water contamination. It concluded there is no connection.
Heading up the study was one Charles "Chip" Grout, Director, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy; Director, Energy & Earth Resources graduate program; Jackson Chair in Energy and Mineral Resources Department of Geological Sciences.
Charles "Chip" Grout also serves on the board of Plains Exploration and Production Co. (PXP) as an independent director. He formerly served six and a half years as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, having been appointed by President Clinton and retained by President Bush.
Buried in the study and under-reported by the media is this little nugget:
There are other dangers, the study says:
"In spite of the much broader disclosure of the ingredients of the [fracturing] additives, there is not yet a clear understanding of what are the key chemicals of concern for environmental toxicity or their chemical concentration in the injected fluid."
"The greatest potential for impacts from a shale gas well appears to be from failure of the well integrity," meaning a poor job of cementing the well casing, allowing chemicals to leak into an aquifer by flowing upward between the casing and the borehole.