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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It's a sad day when federal bureaucrats have to do the work that journalists won't do!

I have never seen a federal agency respond to a media article with such vehemence and precision. The US Energy Information Agency, one of the few federal agencies Obama has not been able to politicize, went after Nature Magazine like Bill Buckley on Norman Mailer after Nature published Natural gas: The fracking fallacy. The Nature post essentially repeats the Obama mantra ""We can't drill our way out of this problem." It cites a study by a team at the University of Texas the finds that fracked wells decline in production more rapidly than conventional well ergo the vision of energy independence is a mere mirage in the visions of Sarah Palin and Rick Perry and Obama's Luddite proclamation is as sound as e=mc squared. The EIA responded to Nature as UVA should have answered Rolling Stone fallacious reporting.
In a letter to Nature bearing the Department of Energy letterhead Deputy Administrator Howard Greunspecht eschews the usual bureaucratic gobbledygook and goes after Nature like a literary critic.
"EIA would expect a journal of Nature's reputation to adopt a scientific approach to journalism, pursuing information and having the story follow where the information leads, rather than selectively collecting information and sources to fill what appears to be a dramatized story line built around the journalistic device of a (false) conflict meme...
While recognizing that different standards apply to editorial opinions and news features, the article and the accompanying editorial (The uncertain dash for cash) appear to function as an integrated newsatorial..."
The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (UT/BEG), the team Nature implied had debunked the fracking fallacy was not pleased either. In its letter it accused Nature of cherry picking its finding in order to set up dueling theories of the merits of fracking when in fact UT/BEG and EIA were in accord on most points.
"With due respect, in our opinion, Nature is lacking in objective and balanced coverage of broad energy research. Just as in climate, biotech, medical, and physics, there is rigorous research being conducted in energy-all energy. We question why Nature would not ask the BEG team, rather than a freelance writer, for a manuscript discussing our work."

Hats off to the EIA!

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