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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Conflict of Interest with earth-shattering consequences

“This is a conflict of interest that we never before could’ve imagined,” says Jason Murphey, a Republican state representative from Logan County, which has been one of the most seismically active areas in the state over the past year. “When Boren facilitates that meeting, it sends a message to Austin Holland.”

From Bloomberg News (not from an environmental group):

Hard to not be cynical about the drill, baby, drillers when I read that during a meeting with a billion-dollar oil executive (Continental) donor, president of U of Oklahoma requested that Oklahoma’s state seismologist "be careful when publicly discussing the possible connection between oil and gas operations and a big jump in the number of earthquakes." Geological researchers like that seismologist were increasingly seeing the link between fracking and the underground disposal of oil and gas wastewater, a byproduct of the fracking boom that the donor Continental has helped pioneer. Can you say "major conflict of interest"? (Or, do you choose not to see what you don't want to see because it messes with your carefully constructed worldview?)

The rise of fracking has coincided with Oklahoma passing California as the most seismically active state in the continental U.S.

All the sordid details are at Bloomberg News: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-30/big-oil-pressured-scientists-over-fracking-wastewater-s-link-to-quakes.