Frackademia Update

The past six months have not been friendly to oil and gas drillers that rely on hydraulic fracturing to exploit shale and other unconventional petroleum sources. As natural gas and oil prices continue to fall, drillers are laying off tens of thousands of employees and taking rigs offline to pare down expenses. At the same …

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Freedom Fracked?

In May 2015, an extraordinary example of academic intimidation involving the oil and gas industry and a fracking researcher came to light. According to documents obtained by Bloomberg, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm had urged University of Oklahoma leadership to fire scientists investigating the role of fracking in causing Oklahoma’s recent spate of earthquakes. Earlier …

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Frackademia in Depth

In the wake of New York State’s decision to ban fracking, drilling proponents have criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration for basing the decision on “pseudo science” and “junk science.” When asked about the New York fracking ban at his 2015 “State of American Energy” press conference, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack …

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Frackademics: Timothy Considine – Analyst or Advocate?

Businesses in controversial industries often turn to the academy for evidence exculpating them for the harm that they do, with trade groups funding “scholarly” reports claiming that their products and business practices are safe for the public. In much the same way that Big Tobacco funded research claiming that secondhand smoke is not harmful, natural gas …

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Frackademia

frackademia (fræk・ə・di・mi・ə) n. The complex of oil-and-gas-allied academics, think tanks, consulting firms, and public relations shops producing misleading and flawed research to win public and political support for hydraulic fracturing. Beginning in 2012, PAI has compiled and released a large quantity of research on the phenomenon now known as “frackademia,” by which the oil and …

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