Cuomo’s DEC has hired notorious frackademic, Robert Jacobi, to sign off on the DEC’s increasingly-infamous-by-the- minute “fracking study that is not really a study.“ Which makes sense, because Jacobi is not really a credible academic anymore anyway: “What answer did you have in mind, Commissioner ?” So now the Report That Isn’t A Report comes out co-signed by a Famous Frackademic. Per the DEC, Jacobi has been tasked with determining how close a fracker can get to New York City’s underground aqueducts in the Catskills. (I am not making this up, really)
This actually is kind of good news : The attorneys will have a field day with this frackademic when he takes the stand. And New Yorkers can rest easy that the fate of their water supply is in the hands of an infamous frackademic.
New York Hires Fracking Geologist With Ties to Industry
Robert Jacobi was picked by the Department of Environmental Conservation for a seismology study as part of its environmental review of a drilling process known as fracking, Lisa King, a DEC spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. Jacobi is a University at Buffalo professor and has been an adviser for drillers for two decades.
“I was contracted by EQT to provide consulting services relating to their geology program, projects and initiatives — in the same manner I was hired as a consultant to provide services for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,” Jacobi said in an e-mail. He said his EQT role doesn’t pose a conflict with the state work.
Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a Buffalo-based group that studies ties between business and government, questioned Jacobi’s impartiality in studying fracking and earthquakes. “It’s a clear conflict of interest,” Connor said. “Is he independent enough to provide sound information to regulators? It’s muddied by the question of a current financial conflict of interest.”
Jacobi, who has taught at the state university for more than 30 years, has worked for various gas drillers since 1994, according to a resume released by the university. He has been a senior geology adviser for Pittsburgh-based EQT since last year.
“Jacobi has a vast range of experience that makes his expertise useful” as the state considers seismic activity, Emily DeSantis, a DEC spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. She cited his consulting work for citizen groups in western New York and EQT.
His findings will be included in an environmental study due Feb. 13, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said yesterday at a legislative hearing in Albany.
Martens said he asked for the seismic review after New York City officials questioned the potential effects of fracking on the tunnels that carry drinking water from upstate reservoirs to the City. “We hired an outside independent expert to look at the issue,” Martens said.
Jacobi was a director of the Shale Resources and Society Institute at the University at Buffalo. In November, SUNY said it was shutting the institute after seven months because ties to the industry raised what the college’s president called a “cloud of uncertainty” over its work.
Jacobi’s resume was released by the university in a report on forming the research institute. From 1994 until 2008, he was a consultant to drillers such as Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) and Anschutz Corp., according to the resume. From 2007 to 2011, he was director of special projects for Norse Energy Corp. (NEC)
Good luck Manhattan. The fate of your water supply is now in the hands of a frackademic.