‘SUNY is not for sale’ to oil and gas

News and analysis by Dan Telvock, Investigative Post's environmental reporter

Kevin Connor, the co-director of the watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative, said on his website today that the University at Buffalo sent a strong message to the oil and gas industry on Monday when it pulled the plug on its embattled Shale Resources and Society Institute.

“SUNY is not for sale,” Connor wrote.

The shale institute released a study in May that was favorable to hydrofracking, which is the practice of using water and other chemicals to dig deep into dense shale formations underground for natural gas.

But Connor’s watchdog group found numerous inaccuracies in the study. He also said the authors had ties to the oil and gas industry, but they did not disclose this in the study.

Facing pressure from students, faculty and environmentalists, UB President Satish K. Tripathi decided to disband the institute after months of controversy.

“Sham science that peddles industry myths has no place in the fracking debate, and it does not deserve the imprimatur of the University at Buffalo or that of any other credible academic institution,” Connor said.

“This is a major victory for faculty, students, staff, and SUNY trustees who led the fight against this corporate takeover.”

For background on this blog post, read Monday’s GreenPost blog “UB pulls plug on Shale Institute.”