Conflict of Interest Alleged in UT Fracking Study
But Groat didn’t disclose that information this year when he led a study that found there was no link between hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, and groundwater contamination, according to a report out today by the watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative.
And Plains Exploration has fracking operations in one of the drilling areas examined in the study.
Groat has not responded to KUT’s request for comment.
“First of all, it would have been better had he told us about it,” said Ray Orbach, director of UT’s Energy Institute, which conducted the fracking study. “We certainly would have included that with an asterisk in the report.”
Orbach says he didn’t learn of Groat’s ties to the fracking company until he was contacted by reporters. But he says he’s found no evidence that Groat inappropriately influenced the study’s findings.