Two years ago in March 2011, MDN told you about New York State’s official geologist, Dr. Langhorne “Taury” Smith, who had the temerity to tell the Albany Times Union that fracking is perfectly safe. He also called shale a "huge gift," and said the issue of fracking is being used by enviro-left groups as a fundraiser (see Norse Energy Optimistic that Drilling in New York State Will Soon Begin After Meeting with DEC Sec. Martens). Careful! Mustn’t…tell…the…truth…so…blunt…ly.
Smith’s overlords at the state museum (where he was on the payroll) promptly flew into action and told Smith he could no longer talk to the press and reveal such blatant truths without prior authorization in triplicate from the press office of the (Re)Education Department. Smith went silent and has stayed that way for two years—under threat of investigation and retaliation. Don’t you just love those big-hearted, fun-loving, anything-goes liberals? (Warning: Never turn your back on them.)
Smith still doesn’t want to discuss fracking. After you’ve been mauled by the PC Police in New York State it leaves a psychic scar. However in January, Smith, to his credit, moved on from working for the People’s Republic of New York and is now a private geology consultant:
Two years ago, state geologist Langhorne B. "Taury" Smith Jr. was asked by his employers at the state Education Department to stop talking to the press without prior approval after his comments to the Times Union were published. He had told the newspaper that he had read about "exaggerated problems" envisioned by opponents of the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
Today, Smith, 52, is in the private sector. He left his state career in January after nearly 13 years and now is a geology consultant.
He did not want to discuss his current situation, but said "I am not working for American companies — nothing to do with fracking here or anywhere in the world."
"I’m doing really well," he added. "I have nothing but good feelings for the (state) museum."
His positive outlook on the prospects for drilling in the Marcellus Shale layers in the Southern Tier drew fire from anti-drilling activists after he was quoted in the Times Union. And the Education Department took action.
He was told by superiors not to talk to reporters without clearance from the press office of the Education Department. Also, then-SED Chief Operating Officer Valerie Grey referred his outside career as a consultant to the state’s ethics agency for review.
Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the department, said there has been no response from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics to its inquiry. "We are currently beginning the recruitment process to replace Mr. Smith with a museum scientist who specializes in geology," he said.*
*Albany (NY) Times Union (Mar 30, 2013) – Rotterdam search down to 2 proposals