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Fracking Advisory Group Riddled With Financial Ties To Gas Industry

Fracking Advisory Group Riddled With Financial Ties To Gas Industry

 

Last Wednesday, over 20 scientists from universities and institutions in 13 states wrote a letter of concern to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu over what they called a “lack of impartiality” represented by members of the recently formed advisory subcommitee on hydraulic fracturing and natural gas.

According to the letter, six of the seven members of the Natural Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board have current financial ties to the natural gas industry, including John Deutch, Stephen Holditch, Kathleen McGinty, Susan Tierney, Daniel Yergin and Mark Zoback.

“These conflicts of interest make it appear that the subcommittee is designed to serve industry at taxpayer expense rather than serving President Obama and the public with credible advice,” reads the letter.

Officially assembled in May 2011, the group was charged with addressing reports that hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, poses significant threats to environmental health and the public water supply.

During the hydraulic fracturing process, “millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well” (Gasland).

Thanks to its use of “advocacy-based science,” the newly-formed group has already concluded that development of shale gas can be done safely provided that companies fully disclose the chemicals used in fracturing liquids, and that they face monitoring of their activities and rigorous standards for emissions of airborne contaminants (iwatchnews.org).

These findings fly in the face of hundreds of reports of water table contamination and flammable drinking water in communities around the country.

Ultimately, American people deserve to know what’s seeping into their water supply, and the gas industry shouldn’t be allowed to stack the deck just because they’d rather keep their chemicals a secret.

“At a minimum,” wrote the scientists, “we ask that John Deutch step down from the subcommittee and that you replace him with a person with no financial ties to the natural gas and oil industry. We also request that you balance the panel with other independent members and that in its evaluation the panel most heavily weight relevant peer-reviewed sources.”

The ball’s in your court Sec. Chu.

Related Reading:

EPA Chief Tells Congress ‘There’s No Proof Fracking Is Dangerous’

The Truth About Natural Gas And Energy Innovation

Shell Tries To Greenwash Fracking In South Africa

France Becomes The First Nation To Ban Fracking

Image Credit: Flickr - marcellus protest

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39 comments

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1:32PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

Go figure! Makes me ill that there is no common sense or decency left in so many.

7:49PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

FRACKING ANOTHER WAY TO GET MORE PROFITS FOR THE ENERGY COMPANIES. FRACKING = MORE MONEY. PLEASE GO GREEN.

9:12PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Seems that integrity, like chivalry, is just not fashionable anymore...

8:50PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

The gas co had to by them ,the Koke brothers and goldmen sakes were busy bribing the congress.

4:56PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

@Ahron E.
I do not think this kind of fear mongering is in any way appropriate for such a topic. Maybe put this attitude towards a more constructive support and promotion of alternatives to oil and gas. Except off course you find the whole situation sensible and benefit from it in some way.

2:47PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Greed greed greed. At OUR expense. Thanks Beth.

2:33PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Why am I not surprised.

12:59PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Does this surprise me not in the least.

12:05PM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Don't worry Patrick F. our future world will be Sharia law as long as we keep on paying Muslims for our energy. A world where you be beheaded for expressing your views.

11:43AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Fracking, just another very nasty way to supply the market demands for energy. Who is the market driver? We consumers.

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