A report used by the UK Labour Party to justify calls for a ban on fracking has been revealed to have been authored by a long time environmentalist. The UK Telegraph reports that a contender for UK Labour leadership Andy Burnham not only relied on the questionable findings in the report but he also is accused of using recycled scare stories in order to hype the need for a fracking ban. According to the Telegraph:
CHEM Trust’s paper, which calls for a moratorium until new regulations are introduced, was written by its executive director, Michael Warhurst, who worked at environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth for a decade until last summer.
Friends of the Earth is one of the leading opponents of fracking, along with Greenpeace, which CHEM Trust lists among its funders.
Mr Warhurst said his briefing report was based on another, lengthier report – a “detailed examination of the chemical pollution impact of fracking” – which CHEM Trust had commissioned from an environmental journalist.
The journalist had been free to come to his own conclusions, he said, even though CHEM Trust has been calling for a moratorium on fracking for the past two years.
This is not the first time that environemntalists have attempted to seek banning an activity and have authored a report picked up by a leader on government or an agency. As part of a lawsuit litigated January of this year, the Western Mining Alliance accused the United States Geological Survey (USGS) of citing a 2011 study that suction dredging increased mercury in streams. As it turns out, the manuscript was authored by a Dr. Charles Alpers who is not only a member of but also serves on the Board of Advisers of The Sierra Fund. The WMA accused Dr. Alpers of withholding five years of data stemming from an FOIA request. As it turns out, Alpers’ group lobbied for a prohibition on suction dredging equipment. Despite this controversy, the USGS concluded there was no conflict of interest. The study was used by California government to enact regulations on suction dredge mining. Fortunately, a San Bernardino County court struck down the dredge mining rules.
Senator David Vitter and Rep. Darryl Issa dug up emails between the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials which demonstrated a close relationship between the two groups. As it turns out, the NRDC and other environmentalist group sued the EPA to force the agency to regulate carbon emissions from power plants as part of a sue and settle strategy between the agency and green groups. Once the EPA lost in court, The New York Times reports, the NRDC proceeded to assist the EPA with drafting regulations on power plant carbon emissions.
Environmentalists have politicized science of subjects like global warming and fracking in order to achieve their ends of attempting to revert mankind back to the Stone Age. Fortunately, climate realists (aka skeptics) seem to be prevailing in the court of public opinion and this latest news out of India is welcome news. It will not, however, stop environmentalists and their allies in science and in the political realm from continuing to use studies linking human activity to climate change or author false reports for politicians to highlight in order to achieve and maintain political power.