Controversial Fracking Report Still On U of Texas Website, Not Noting Author’s Industry Ties

Ann McClure's picture

University of Texas Energy Institute Director Ray Orbach has gone on the record to say a controversial study on fracking would have noted that lead author Charles “Chip” Groat is member of an oil and gas company’s board of directors, had he known about it.

However, three days after the report came under intense public scrutiny, the document remains on the Energy Institute’s website with no acknowledgment Groat is a paid board member of a company that engages in the practice.

(Groat, an associate director with UT’s Energy Institute has been on Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co.’s board for several years. Groat was paid $413,900 in cash and stock by the company in 2011, according to SEC filings reviewed by the American-Statesman, more than twice his UT salary, and holds $1.6 million in company stock. Groat had neither told his supervisors at the Energy Institute about that position nor disclosed it in the fracking study.)

“We don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize this external, independent review that is going on. We’re going to sit tight until that panel is formed and make a judgment after we’ve checked with them,” UT spokeswoman Tara Doolittle said.

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