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Whistleblower: EPA scientists paid off by oil and gas industry to conceal toxic fracking emissions


EPA corruption

(NaturalNews) An explosive new federal complaint finally sheds some light on the great mystery of why exactly the EPA, which is tasked with protecting the environment, inexplicably sits back and allows the fracking industry to destroy the earth.

According to the environmental watchdog group NC WARN based out of North Carolina, the data regarding toxic emissions from fracking has been the subject of a long-term and systematic cover-up that involved payoffs from the gas and oil industry to at least one researcher for the EPA.

According to a federal complaint filed by the group with the Inspector General of the EPA, "there has been a persistent and deliberate cover-up that has prevented the agency from requiring the natural gas industry to make widespread, urgently needed and achievable reductions in methane venting and leakage ('emissions') across the nation's expanding natural gas infrastructure."

They stated: "Studies relied upon by EPA to develop policy and regulations were scientifically invalid."

The group alleges that the man behind the cover-up is Dr. David Allen, who was the head of the EPA Science Advisory Board. They say that he concealed the under-reporting of two devices used to measure the release of gas from equipment used in the natural gas industry. Dr. Allen also happens to be a faculty member of the University of Texas at Austin, where he has received funding from the gas and oil industries for a number of years. Now it's all starting to make sense.

Inventor of device used to measure methane emissions warned it was faulty

NC WARN's Jim Warren points out that the body's resultant failure to demand that methane leaks are reduced has exacerbated the climate crisis. The group made this startling discovery after learning that the inventor of the primary device used to measure the gas released, the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler, had been trying to blow the whistle for years on its malfunctioning! It's not a small problem, either; according to the group, a critical failure makes the faulty instrument under-report the emissions of methane "up to 100-fold."

The device's inventor, Touche Howard, says that such a failure could even cause "catastrophic explosions". He says he repeatedly tried to warn the EPA and Dr. Allen about the device's malfunctioning but was greeted with silence every time. NC WARN feels he was ignored out of fear that he would invalidate their studies. By showing methane emissions as being lower than they actually are, the EPA was able to say there was no need to require reductions, and it looks like the oil and gas industry made sure of that by having Dr. Allen in their pocket.

Calls for new studies, tighter oversight and regulations

The group is now calling for the EPA's internal watchdog, the Inspector General, to investigate the fraud carried out by Allen and other officials and retract their inaccurate studies. They are asking for new studies to come up with more accurate figures regarding methane emissions from fracking and an investigation into the EPA's dependence on researchers who have conflicts of interest.

Taking it one step further, they suggest that the EPA put in place a zero-emission goal for methane and place tighter controls on the oversight, remediation and testing of the natural gas industry's methane emissions.

With the EPA basing its recommendations on tools that can under-report methane emissions 100-fold, it's easy to see why they seem so lax about fracking. Of course, the only way to really fix the methane leak problem is to stop the practice of fracking entirely. It's been called "a silent death", and it leaves water and farmland ruined, contaminates the food and water supply, and sickens people and animals. This cover-up is absolutely appalling. The EPA is supposed to protect the environment, not the bank accounts of its scientists.

Sources include:

http://www.commondreams.org

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com/methane%5Femissions.html

http://foodforensics.com/

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