SUNY Buffalo has shuttered its Shale Resources and Society Institute, aka a pro-fracking, on-campus think tank with big energy connections and a record of shilling for junk science.

The closure comes as a direct result of the center’s misleading and error-filled May 15 report touting a warmer, fuzzier, safer fracking industry.

University of Buffalo President Satish Tripathi announced the closure.

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Given our geographic situation as well as our extensive faculty expertise in issues related to energy, water, and the environment, the University at Buffalo is positioned to play a leading research role in these areas. Understanding and addressing these issues effectively therefore requires a program of sufficient scale to encompass the scope and complexities of this topic … The university upholds academic freedom as a core principle of our institutional mission. With that being said, academic freedom carries with it inherent responsibilities. The Shale Resources and Society Institute’s May 15, 2012, report, “Environmental Impacts during Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling: Causes, Impacts, and Remedies,” led to allegations questioning whether historical financial interests influenced the authors’ conclusions. The fundamental source of controversy revolves around clarity and substantiation of conclusions … Because of these collective concerns, I have decided to close the Shale Resources and Society Institute.

New Yorkers Against Fracking celebrated Tripathi’s decision.

We’re excited that the University of Buffalo — through the oversight of the SUNY Board of Trustees — has decided that the Shale Institute should be shut down. This is a victory for real science over junk science peddled by the gas industry.

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OK, that’s enough celebrating. Drink some of that cool, clean water and get back to those game-changing grassroots community initiatives, folks.

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