News 92 FM

Results Of Fracking Study, Conflicts Of Interest Called Into Question

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(Credit: Thinkstock Images)

(Credit: Thinkstock Images)

A professor with ties to a Houston oil company throws the conclusions of a UT study on fracking into question. News 92 FM explains:

The Energy Institute at the University of Texas researched hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — and water contamination. It concluded there was no link between the two. But an independent review of the research has revealed the head of the study is a player in the oil and gas industry.

Chip Groat was on the board of Houston based Plains Exploration and Production, and received nearly $500,000 in cash and stock from the company in 2011. The study review panel says in its report that Groat’s failure to disclose his industry ties was a “principal shortcoming” in the research because it could have put into question the study’s credibility. The panel says says the research also “fell short of contemporary standards for scientific work.” Groat retired last month. The institute’s director resigned this week.

UT says it accepts the reviews findings and will strengthen its conflict of interest policies.

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