Shale study’s lead author faces ‘green’ backlash

College distances itself from fracking findings

Ben Wolfgang
The Washington Times
5/28/2012

Faced with mounting criticism, the State University of New York at Buffalo is distancing itself from a Marcellus Shale gas-drilling study released earlier this month by the school’s own Shale Resources and Society Institute.

But the report’s lead author is defending the work by the fledgling institute, saying Monday that it’s being mischaracterized by environmental activists who oppose any additional domestic fossil-fuel production.

“I stand by the work,” said Timothy Considine, University of Wyoming professor and one of three researchers who penned the institute’s survey, adding that he and his colleagues aren’t at all surprised by the green backlash it has generated.

“This whole debate [about fracking] has been so polarized,” he said.

Released earlier this month, the report concludes that Pennsylvania regulators have done an effective job cutting down on environmental incidents within the state’s burgeoning natural-gas industry, a sector driven almost entirelyby hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial practice of using water, sand and chemicals to crack deep underground rock and release huge quantities of natural gas.

Its authors, including SUNY-Buffalo employee and institute Director John P. Martin, have come under increasing fire from critics who say they’ve spun figures from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection in order to cast a favorable light on fracking and the companies that employ it.

Now, the university is now running away from the study, the first significant work produced by the institute, the formation of which was announced April 5…

The article continues at The Washington Times.

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