Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fracking Industry Distorts Science to Deceive Public and Policymakers, Says Watchdog Group

In this file photo from Oct. 14, 2011, a drilling rig is seen in Springville, Pa. State regulators blamed faulty gas wells drilled for leaking methane into the groundwater in nearby Dimock, Pa. It was the first serious case of methane migration said to be related to the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale gas field drilling boom. (Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, FILE)  Click to Enlarge.
The oil and gas industry sponsors and spins research to shape the scientific debate over horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  That's the conclusion of a watchdog group's analysis of more than 130 documents distributed to policymakers by industry representatives.
Public Accountability Initiative's analysis determined that only one of the industry studies was both peer-reviewed and explicitly addressed public health concerns.  That study was funded by the industry.  Also on the industry's research list:  retracted studies, industry PowerPoint presentations and blog posts.  Omitted were hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies of fracking and potential impacts to the environment and public health.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, highlighted a 2013 industry-funded study that concluded living close to fracking wells did not increase the risk of childhood cancer.

"They used the wrong time interval to be relevant for how long it takes childhood cancers to develop.  Of course, they weren't going to find any cancer," said Rotkin-Ellman.  She pointed to a rebuttal titled, "Obfuscation Does Not Provide Comfort," later published by two experts in the same journal that contained the original article.

"This is a common symptom of industry-funded science -- a set of conclusions that are not supported by the study as it was done," Rotkin-Ellman added.

Read more at Fracking Industry Distorts Science to Deceive Public and Policymakers, Says Watchdog Group

No comments:

Post a Comment