Is an “Independent” Shale Research Organization Possible?

The Shale Gas Roundtable–a southwestern PA group made up of representatives from the oil and gas industry, government and academe–released an important new study on Wednesday with a list of comprehensive recommendations for how shale drilling can and should go forward in Pennsylvania (see today’s companion story). One of the boldest proposals by the group is the establishment of an independent research organization to study the effects of shale drilling. The trick is to craft an organization whose research is unassailable–no accusations that “industry” or “enviro groups” funded the research and therefore said research is skewed or tainted. How to do that?

The Roundtable proposes to borrow an idea from the automotive industry…

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