Last month, the University at Buffalo released the report it prepared at the direction of the State University of New York (SUNY) trustees regarding its Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI). At their September meeting, the SUNY trustees unanimously called on UB to account for the funding, staffing, and origin of the controversial institute as well as any influence the natural gas industry may have had over SRSI, its directors, or its output.
SRSI made headlines this spring when Buffalo’s Artvoice revealed SRSI’s theretofore unknown existence and again when PAI reviewed its first report finding the study severely lacking in academic rigor. The institute has since become a lightning rod for controversy, inspiring the formation of UB CLEAR, a coalition of UB faculty, staff, students, and alumni advocating transparency at SRSI and making headlines around the state and country.
UB’s report omits many critical documents which are either publicly available or have become publicly available through document requests. UB’s report also excludes important events from the timeline detailing the founding of SRSI, such as fundraising trips to Houston by SRSI founders. It also fails to address a critical, indisputable error in this spring’s SRSI report which would have fundamentally altered the industry-friendly findings UB’s public relations team disseminated.
Today, PAI released a new report to SUNY trustees detailing the deflections and critical omissions that comprise UB’s inquiry into SRSI. The report reviews this error, attempts to clarify the timeline of SRSI’s inception and funding, and supplies a number of relevant materials omitted from UB’s review of the institute. The report includes four sections: first, a recapitulation of the most serious error in the SRSI report; second, a discussion of the university’s various accounts of SRSI’s funding; third, a series of unanswered questions about SRSI; and fourth, attachments omitted by the university in its report.
The letter to trustees, report, press release, and attachments to the report are linked below.
The report includes a list of attached documents relevant to SRSI, its founding, and its first report which UB administrators did not release to SUNY trustees. These documents are linked below:
Note: If FOIL response links direct to a “403 Forbidden” error message, click on the URL field of your browser and press “Enter” and the document will load
- Kevin Connor, Robert Galbraith, and Benjamin Nelson, “The UB Shale Play: Distorting the Facts About Fracking”, Public Accountability Initiative (May 25, 2012).
- Robert Galbraith, “‘Nonsense’ and UB’s Shale Resources and Society Insitute”, Public Accountability Initiative (September 4, 2012).
- Ben Wolfgang, “Shale study’s lead author faces ‘green’ backlash: College distances itself from fracking findings”, Washington Times (May 28, 2012).
- “The Shale Resources and Society Institute: A Network to Objectively Advance the Timely, Safe, and Sustainable Economic Development of Unconventional Shale Gas Resources”, Shale Resources and Society Institute.
- Buck Quigley FOIL Response 1
- Buck Quigley FOIL Response 2
- Buck Quigley FOIL Response 3
- Buck Quigley FOIL Response 4
- John Lipsitz FOIL Response 1
- John Lipsitz FOIL Response 2
- John Lipsitz FOIL Response 3
- John Lipsitz FOIL Response 4
- John Lipsitz FOIL Response 5
- Daniel Robison, “Controversy still simmers over SUNY Buffalo Shale Institute”, WBFO (August 30, 2012).
- Sara DiNatale, “Fracking update: UB continues to deny industry funding claims”, UB Spectrum (September 21, 2012).
- “Board and Officers”, IOGA of NY.
- Meeting Minutes, University at Buffalo Geology Alumni Advisory Board (May 15, 2012).
- Marcus Bursik, “Letter from the Chair”, The Epoch, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences (Summer/Fall 2011).
- Dennis Holbrook and Buck Quigley, “UB & The Buffalo News – Bamboozled by Natural Gas Industry”, Artvoice (blog) (July 20, 2012).