Penn State University

Wed, 2013-02-13 12:16Steve Horn
Steve Horn's picture

NY Fracking Decision Delayed by Cuomo Administration, Too Early to Pop Champagne Bottles

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration - led by a potential 2016 Democratic Party nominee for president - has announced it won't achieve the late-Feb. deadline it set on whether or not it would green light shale gas drilling, known by most as “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing).

This announcement fell a day after DeSmogBlog released what “fracktivists” have now dubbed the “New York Fracking Scandal” documents, also housed on NYFrackingScandal.com.

These documents reveal that Cuomo's chief-of-staff, Larry Schwartz, has thousands of dollars in stock portfolio investments in oil and gas corporations with a financial stake in fracking proceeding in New York, a possible violation of the state's conflict-of-interest law and potentially a form of insider trading. The documents also detailed that lobbyists from these very same corporations have also had VIP meetings with Cuomo's top-level aides in the past several months, granted prime access to the Administration to influence-peddle in the run-up to the looming fracking decision. 

Yesterday, citing the necessity to “let the science determine the outcome,” NY Department of Health Commisioner (DOH) Nirav Shah wrote that the DOH “will require additional time to complete based on the complexity of the issues” in a letter to NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner, Joe Martens. 

Shah closed his letter by stating, “Whatever the ultimate decision on [fracking] going ahead, New Yorkers can be assured that it will be pursuant to a rigorous review that takes the time to examine the relevant health issues.”

Martens offered a brief response, concurring with Shah and writing that “the science, not emotion, will determine the outcome.”

Front-line fracktivists see the Administration's reprieve as a positive development - at least for now.

Thu, 2011-02-03 18:16Emma Pullman
Emma Pullman's picture

Breaking: Purdue University Cancels Coal Project Thanks To Student Pressure

Today, Purdue University students, community members, faculty, alumni and staff breathed a sigh of relief as the Board of Trustees voted to nix plans to build a new coal boiler on campus.  For nearly a year, a broad coalition including Campuses Beyond Coal fought the university’s plans to build a new coal boiler on campus, and today their hard work paid off. 

Prior to today’s cancellation, Purdue was the only university in the United States that still planned to expand its coal power plant.  While school officials touted the upgrade as “green”, students, activists and community members weren’t convinced.  They feared that University officials were keen to cling to the “coal is clean” myth while other universities were leading the shift to cleaner power sources. (The coal industry cooked up the “clean coal” myth and continues trying to convince the public through a $40 million astroturf advertising and PR campaign by organizations like the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity”.  But the public, especially young people, are seeing right through the industry’s propaganda.)

Purdue was initially hesitant to revisit its plans.  But effective grassroots organizers at the university and in the community hosted protests, rallies, and several events to convince the school to move away from its reliance on dirty coal.  

Tue, 2011-01-11 10:37Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

"CIA Vet" Kent Clizbe Stalking Hockey Stick-Author Mike Mann

Spook’s antics would be creepy if they were competent

A self-proclaimed counter-terrorism expert and former CIA case worker is soliciting for “whistleblowers” who will make allegations of impropriety against Dr. Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center and author of the apparently bulletproof Hockey Stick climate reconstruction.

Kent Clizbe has been sending letters, annually, to Mann’s colleagues promising them a big payout if they can offer any evidence that Mann has been misusing his federal research funds. In the first such letter that Clizbe sent, more than a year ago, he reported that the U.S. False Claims Act stipulates that whistleblowers can claim up to 30% of any recovered money and that Mann has received $50 million. Clizbe adds: “30% of $50 million is more than $12 million.”

In this single sentence, Clizbe reveals all you need to know about the man: he doesn’t care about the accuracy of his facts; and he can’t wrangle a calculator effectively enough to establish that 30% of 50 is 15. (Neither do his math skills improve over time, in this year’s version, he writes: “Up to 30% of $50 million (the total Dr Mann claims to have received for climate research) could net a whistleblower more than $10 million.”)

Wed, 2010-07-07 15:55Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Climategate Is Dead! Or Long Live Climategate?

An exhaustive six-month independent review into the Climategate emails has concluded that the “rigor and honesty” of the climate scientists caught up in the non-scandal are “not in doubt.” [PDF]

The investigation, led by Sir Muir Russell, found no grand conspiracy among scientists brainwashed by the U.N. IPCC and Al Gore to dominate the planet by dreaming up man-made global warming, as the right wing media and blogosphere insisted in the wake of the Climategate nontroversy that followed the theft of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) late last year.

The report confirms again that climate scientists’ findings remain sound. Some of its key findings:

“On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments. ” (pg. 11)

Thu, 2010-07-01 12:47Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Penn State Completely Exonerates Climate Scientist Michael Mann On Bogus Climategate Accusations

Pennsylvania State University today issued its final report thoroughly exonerating climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of any wrongdoing in the wake of the “Climategate” myth that emerged late last year when thousands of emails and documents were stolen from a computer server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK.

In the days following the posting of the stolen material onto the Internet, right-wing bloggers and media outlets loudly issued allegations of misconduct among climate scientists mentioned in the giant trove of emails.  Conspiracy theorists on the right cherry-picked flagrantly out-of-context portions of the email collection in order to gin up a grand tale suggesting that man-made climate change is a fraud concocted by all of the world’s leading climate scientists, the much-despised United Nations IPCC, and, of course, Al Gore. 

Despite their success in elevating this nontroversy to the national level via Fox News and other right wing media, every single independent investigation of the climate scientists involved has since cleared them of any misconduct and verified the science underpinning the IPCC’s consensus position that manmade climate change is real.

Tue, 2010-03-30 19:05Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Mann Slandered by YAF (Yappy Americans for Fudging science)

The Penn State chapter of the Republican farm team, Young Americans for Freedom, has launched an attack against Michael Mann, demanding an “external, independent investigation of Dr. Michael Mann.s (sic) climate research and related communications.”

YAF is complaining about the evidently thorough and entirely transparent investigation that PSU has already conducted, looking into the stolen emails that surfaced in what has come to be known (in unimaginative circles) as “Climategate.” The PSU panel looked at the evidence and exonerated Mann, apparently to the disappointment of people who wish that the East Anglia emails really did throw doubt on the quality of climate science.

Subscribe to Penn State University