hydraulic fracturing

Duke University research tainted with fracking dollars

I thought I smelled something funky about this:

Shale gas drilling generates sufficient taxes and fees to cover the costs of local government services, such as road repair, waste water services and emergency services, according to a study by Duke University researchers.

Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi of Duke’s Energy Initiative concluded that regions with active drilling generally experience financial benefits from fracking activity.

As to that "road repair" observation, you may want to tell that to the folks in Pennsylvania who are tearing their cars to pieces bumping along what used to be a decent road system. Doubtless much of their other findings are arguable, but right now I'm more concerned with what's fueling the findings:

Another NCSU professor wearing two hats

Objectivity in the fracking debate is becoming more elusive every day:

People curious about fracking in North Carolina attended an informational panel Saturday afternoon. Panel speakers were Viney Aneja, professor at N.C. State University; Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, a member of the N.C. Mining Energy Commission that is writing rules; and Hope Taylor, a fracking critic and director of Clean Water for North Carolina.

Aneja began the panel presentation by explaining the process of fracking and how it has worked in other states. He said he wanted to offer the benefits and disadvantages on the industry in the state. "Let us not be afraid of this industry," Aneja said. "Let us have the good science that we have today and make a decision based on that science."

No, Aneja isn't a geologist, he specializes in atmospheric (air) pollution. An issue that has been the subject of much research recently re fracking, as we try to determine just how much methane escapes into the atmosphere throughout the process. But he isn't just an academic, Aneja is also a "specialist" for a business consulting firm, which has natural gas drillers, coal mining companies, and other energy-related industries as clients:

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