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Penn State Serves Up Fracking Kool-Aid to Freshmen

Filed under: Energy, Environmental

On his No Fracking Way blog, Chip Northrup reports how Penn State gives all 7,000 incoming freshmen this reading assignment.  

Students can then write a 1,000 word essay about it, and the top two entries will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

What do you expect from the big state college in a big fracking state like Pennsylvania?

This is the kind of higher education we would be getting in New York if the state had moved to allow fracking. Thankfully, all we had to suffer through were the pathetic fracking institutes that briefly existed at the State University of New York at Buffalo and SUNY College at Fredonia.



And don’t miss this fascinating video by Penn State’s frack booster Terry Engelder, promoting the reading project to incoming students. The video is packed with interesting facts…like, did you know that Engelder spent his first night at college sleeping with his mother? (At 1:57)

You’re welcome!

  • jamesholstun

    Ah, Penn State! Joe Paterno! Jerry Sandusky! Terry Engelder! and fracked natural gas! Thank you for helping me appreciate even more working at UB.

    True, the geniuses behind SRSI at UB did suggest certain surprising deficits–for instance, some problems with eighth-grade algebra. But it was also UB people–students, staff, faculty, and alums (including the redoubtable Mr. Quigley) who got the plug pulled.

    UB is so much more than the drooling boosters who sometimes presents themselves as its public face. For instance, the UB students I met this week, as the semester began. They deserve better. They deserve the best.

    • Peter_A_Reese

      Hey Perfessor, get off your high horse. Isn’t SUNY Buffalo famous for its secret billion dollar real estate speculating Foundation, little John Simpson, UB2020, and human rights expert Makau Mutua? If you guys over there don’t stop this funny business, my degrees will be so devalued that I’m never gonna work in this town again.

      • Peter_A_Reese

        BTW, why does SUNY Buffalo get scams like SRSI while Cornell gets geniuses like Ingraffea? To top it all off Ingraffea, is also a great guy.

      • jamesholstun

        Cornell has its badges of shame, too (see “Cornell Technion”), and I could point to quite a few geniuses at UB. As you might guess, some of them are dicks, and some of them are great guys. Some of them are even female great guys.

        The main mistake people make about the various huckstering efforts of the UB Administration–for instance, trying to buy up and level McCarley Gardens, setting up Let’s-Destroy-the-World hydrofracking institutes, etc.–is to attribute these actions to “UB.” If you do that, you’ve bought into the scam.

        UB’s owners are the citizens of New York State, and its administrators are a group of (frequently overpaid) civil servants, not the Lord Jehovah Almighty. UB’s owners need to make sure its employees do their jobs–as Mr. Reese himself has done, from time to time.

      • Peter_A_Reese

        Hey Doc, you write pretty well. Ever thought about writing an occasional story for local actual newspapers, like AV or the NF Reporter (not the BNews)?

        Futhermore, have you ever seen the marks of the lash on my back received for criticizing our local big shots? Come on in a get a beating for yourself. You think its fun confronting tyros like Simpson and Enstice at public meetings? (A: YES)

  • Peter_A_Reese Lots of this stuff on the web. Engelder is an economist, Ingraffea an engineer. Different standards. Ebgelder doesn’t care if a bridge you drive over failes 2% of the time. Ingaffea and Engelder have worked and published together for the drilling industry. Ingraffea makes sense, Engelder makes more money.

  • Hope Forpeace

    Utterly nauseating. Let’s just start the brainwashing right up front? Wow. I wonder how many proven cases of water contamination the book covers.
    The author AND Engelder sat with Craig Stevens and Vera Scroggins an heard the truth:

    • Jim Young

      It is sort of what you’d expect if you look at those who have taken up PSU’s enthusiasm for industry funding (see and and). I don’t know if PSU is the most oil industry funded academic institution, percentage wise, but believe it is so much so that it influences even otherwise honest and competent scientists and academicians selected/allowed to work with them.

      I listened to a presentation by (PSU connected) Dr.Sue Brantley, at UCR, in what seemed an industry response to fractivist’s talks given around the country. Her’s was on “How Fracking Impacts Our Water: The Pennsylvania Experience.” I believe the information she presented may not have been specifically untrue, but seemed too much a best case for the way things should be done by the best plans and actual practices (that should occur within a well regulated and adequately, to me, independently audited, system). She did describe some problems, interestingly, to me, about the lack of information such as baseline information before drilling, and the possible impact on releasing post drilling or transitory event information that could impact homeowners’ property values, implying the homeowners wanted kept confidential since “misinterpretation” could negatively impact their property values.

      She also mentioned that their was “less” data available than an expert would want for a truly comprehensive evaluation of the overall impact (I think in single digit percentages) and it seemed from almost exclusively industry “self-reported” data that became the government agencies data made public.

      Other meetings I’ve gone to, including one where I was able to join a small group including Dr. Ingraffea, as far more expert friends followed up his portion of a far more comprehensive presentation. The related health impacts (much more Dr. Ingraffea’s area), were excluded at every seemingly possible opportunity, with few other “experts” like Dr. Engelder willing, or enabled to share the stage with Dr. Ingraffea, as when the Cornell(?) Public Relations Office cancelled a presentation including Dr. Cathles, rather than respond to requests to have Dr. Ingraffea also appear (to me, an essential element to a comprehensive look at claimed benefits vs the negative risks and actual impact that everyone from local health officials, to neutral observers, and even lower echelon workers within the industry should be on the watch for).

      I’m satisfied that Dr. Ingraffea is one of the most competent and honest experts I would want any other supposed experts to have to respond to over the concerns of all of us not swept up by supposed “benefits” without risks the others try to portray.

  • Sarah DiThomas

    Just an fyi, despite its name, Penn State is not a “state” school. It’s a “semi-private” institution

    • Penn State is a public, state related research university with campuses all over Pennsylvania. The flagship campus is in the Borough of State College.

      • Sarah DiThomas

        “State-related” aka semi-private, I attended Penn State and many on campus protests to this special exemption which allowed them to exploit students, hide funds and whatever other dirty deeds they were/are doing. Hopefully it will change if people get fed up enough but if the pedophile scandal didn’t do it, I don’t know what will.

      • Interesting. At SUNY UB, a long list of private foundations are employed to skirt New York’s Freedom of Information Law. These foundations are used to pay lavish salary top offs, purchase real estate, fund the defunct Shale Foundation, etc. Initially, they were formed to do things like pay scholarships. They won a court case brought by me to compel them to release records. The issue continues to be looked at by NYS legislators. I would imagine Penn State’s similar foundations perform in a like way, with more than twice the money as UB.

  • DiogenesNJ

    It’s a (very) slight counterweight to the dezinformatsya served up by the other (your) side every day. The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”. Might I recommend to you “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein? It has supported facts, citations, and all that other stuff that annoys you because it doesn’t fit you preconceptions.

    • jamesholstun

      Thanks, Alex!

      • DiogenesNJ

        I have. Every chart and table in it has a cited, checkable source. So you’re ad hominem arguments don’t work. The data says what it says, regardless of your opinion of the author who collated it.

  • Joe Tex