Conflict of Interest in Fracking Study
Two University of Texas professors have stepped down after a review found a conflict of interest in a controversial report on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
As KUT News previously reported, the report from the UT Energy Institute, “Separating Fact From Fiction in Shale Gas Development,” stated that fracking, when executed properly, doesn’t contaminate groundwater. But StateImpact Texas reported that the study’s leader failed to disclose financial ties to the drilling industry, including a seat on the board of a drilling company.
Today, StateImpact Texas reports that Dr. Charles “Chip” Groat has retired, and Dr. Raymond Orbach, the head of the institute which released the report, has resigned.
The departures were announced as an independent review of the report was released which blasted the Energy Institute’s work:
“The review finds no ‘intentional misrepresentation’ by Groat, and even believes that, at the time, he was likely not violating established conflict of interest policies at the University. But his failure to disclose constitutes ‘very poor judgement,’ the review says, and harmed the credibility of the report.”
You can read more from StateImpact Texas.