Published on
Jim Hightower

A Fracking Surprise in Texas

How ironic: Fracking recently got fracked!

This brutish technique for extracting natural gas from deep within the Earth, led by such profiteering giants as Exxon Mobil and Halliburton, has rapidly swept across America. Indeed, it has run right over local residents who've had their air and water polluted, their families sickened, and their own economic futures imperiled.

As usual, the frackers pooh-poohed the concerns of these bothersome citizens, insisting that the process is perfectly safe, doing no damage to people or the environment. Their assertion of purity was bolstered several months ago by an academic research report issued by the prestigious Energy Institute at the University of Texas. In a summary of the white papers that made up the report, lead researcher, Charles Groat declared that the scientists found little or no evidence of damage to ground water. So there you have it – an academic acquittal of fracking.


At Stake?

An existential threat to our democracy. A global pandemic. An unprecedented economic crisis. Our journalism has never been more needed.

Can you pitch in today and help us make our Fall Campaign goal of $80,000 by November 2nd?

Please select a donation method:

Well, not quite. A watchdog group called Public Accountability Initiative popped up with the revelation that professor Groat held some $1.7 million worth of stock in a gas fracking corporation, served on its board, and was paid $400,000 by it as the report was being assembled. This forced UT to announce that a three-member panel would investigate – a ploy that many critics feared would be a whitewash.

No such luck for Groat, however. Using blunt terms like "distortion," "inappropriately selective," and "very poor judgment," the panel excoriated the professor and the university, concluding that the hoked up report should be withdrawn. The panel's findings were, as the watchdog put it: a "damning critique." So damning that UT has since withdrawn the report, Groat was compelled to retire, and the head of the Energy Institute has resigned.

Now that's a thorough frack job!

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article