Professors funded by the shale gas industry have produced influential research supporting the industry at major institutions including Penn State University and the University of Texas at Austin and donâ€™t always disclose where the money is coming from.
Thereâ€™s a growing backlash against the practice. State University of New York trustees last week ordered a review of the University at Buffaloâ€™s shale gas institute after faculty members complained that authors of a controversial report were tied to the industry.
The University of Texas at Austin last month named a panel of experts to review its own controversial pro-industry study. The Texas report found no evidence of groundwater contamination from â€śfracking,â€ť the process of injecting high-pressure water and chemicals underground to free gas inside shale rock.
But the professor who led the study, Charles Groat, failed to mention heâ€™s on the board of a company engaged in fracking that paid him $400,000 last year.