SHOOTING THE MESSENGER: HOW THE OPPOSITION TO FRACKING NOW DEALS WITH SCIENTIFIC FACTS
To test whether if the conclusions in these papers could be reproduced, colleagues and I published the results of our analyzing dissolved methane in water from ~13,000 NE Pennsylvania domestic wells, densely arrayed near ~800 gas wells. In contrast to the prior studies that samples less than 200 water wells, we found no relationship between methane in drinking water and proximity to gas wells. After Science reported on our paper, web-based Inside Climate accused me of unethical non-disclosure, demanded my publisher to mount an investigation, and the accusation went viral; the Committee of Science, Space and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives had me testify on the matter on the Hill. The Onondaga Nation even tried to get me fired from my position as professor at Syracuse University. Both SU and the journal concluded I had not violated an disclosure issues.
While I empathize and understand those who have serious concerns over community and climate disruption related to using unconventional gas and oil, I find it unfortunate, if not surprising, that opponents of fracking now resort to innuendo to try and achieve their ends, rather than addressing facts that do not agree with their beliefs and arriving to compromise.