New York’s DEC installing a revolving door?

On the heels of Public Accountability Initiative’s extensive report on the revolving door between fracking regulators and the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, Gannett’s Jon Campbell reports that Steven Russo, deputy secretary and general counsel of New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, is leaving the agency to lead the environmental practice at the law …

Read More

The Pennsylvania “Environmental” Council

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is an organization that the Public Accountability Initiative first touched upon in our recent report on the revolving door between Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators and the natural gas industry. The group is perhaps the most prominent voice on environmental issues in the state of Pennsylvania and often provides representatives to Commonwealth boards, …

Read More

Meet the Fix the Debt lobbyists

According to a new filing, the Campaign to Fix the Debt, whose leadership includes lobbyists Vic Fazio and Jim McCrery, has hired lobbyists of its own. A lobbying disclosure filing by Fix the Debt reveals that as of January 2, …

Read More

New DEP water contamination policies (again) raise the specter of political interference

This past March, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection faced controversy when an e-mail leaked to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed a new agency policy requiring any Marcellus Shale permitting or enforcement action to be approved by DEP executives and cleared by Secretary of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer. Under the new policy even notices of violation, …

Read More

Penn State faculty refuse to co-author frackademic report

The Marcellus Shale Coalition has canceled its series of economic reports formerly issued through Pennsylvania State University when no Penn State faculty would agree to put their name on it. The reports, primarily authored by the frackademic Timothy Considine and widely cited in the campaign against a gas severance tax in Pennsylvania, painted a rosy …

Read More

“Nonsense” and UB’s Shale Resources and Society Institute

In recent interviews, Dr. Bruce Pitman, the dean of the University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences responded to PAI’s criticism of a study published this summer by the school’s Shale Resources and Society Institute. To a WBFO reporter, Pitman characterized claims of SRSI’s poor scholarship as “nonsense”, saying, “We haven’t been able to …

Read More

The Scope of the University of Texas Fracking Review

Last week, the University of Texas at Austin announced that “three nationally renowned leaders in science, public service and higher education” would review the industry-friendly report issued in February by its Energy Institute that has been the center of a controversy over the gas industry’s influence on academia and, by extension, public policy. That day, …

Read More

New York’s Fracking Investments

A recent Buffalo News article about New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s shareholder activism through the state’s pension fund mentions his interactions with the natural gas industry. According to the Buffalo News, DiNapoli “has been pressing natural gas companies involved in hydrofracturing to provide him with risks of their drilling practices, the kinds of chemicals used and to …

Read More

Frackademics: The Ohio Shale Coalition Team

With the University of Texas assembling a panel to review a February study from the Energy Institute at UT Austin following PAI’s report “Contaminated Inquiry”, there has been a flurry of media attention to gas industry’s capture of scientists and economists, using the independent brands of and public trust in universities to promote a gas-friendly …

Read More

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 …

Read More