Experts Argue Against Tossing Out Conclusions of Controversial UT Study
From the Houston Business Journal:
The study, which had reported that fracking does not contaminate groundwater, came under question when it was found that the principal investigator, UT professor Charles Groat, had not disclosed industry ties. It was reported in July that Groat is also a director at Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co. (NYSE: PXP), which drills and does hydraulic fracturing in Texas.
Groat retired from his position last month, and UT Energy Institute Director Raymond Orbach, who had no direct role in overseeing the study, also resigned from the institute, UT said. He will remain as a tenured faculty member at UT.
Still, David Holt, president of the Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance, told me that by all accounts the substance of the study — that hydraulic fracturing is safe, effective and boosts the economy — is clear and convincing.
“It is certainly unfortunate that there is the appearance of a conflict of interest, but that should not detract from the value and importance of the study itself,” Holt said of UT’s work.