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AP Update: Penn. water study secret conflict of interest

After learning that authors of a recent study that linked natural gas operations in the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania to contaminated ground water did not share their rather large conflict of interest, an update and correction is in order.

The Associated Press (AP) received an embargoed copy of the report that failed to disclose that an author of the report was a consultant for affected homeowners who sued the driller. The following is the AP’s update of the information:

In a story May 4, The Associated Press reported on research that found drilling fluids likely leaked into a drinking water supply in Pennsylvania. The story should have noted that one of the study’s authors, Garth T. Llewellyn, was a consultant for affected homeowners who sued the driller. That information was not included on a pre-publication version of the study provided to reporters by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but it was later added to the published version.

As reported by Energy In Depth, the embargo copy of study that was given to reporters before the actual publication of the report on May 4th stated in the bottom right hand corner, “The authors declare no conflict of interest.”  However, the actual publication of the report in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” states: “Conflict of interest statement: G.T.L. and Appalachia Consulting provided litigation support and environmental consulting services to the impacted households.”

To read Energy In Depth’s full article regarding studies focusing on the natural gas industry, click here.

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