University of Tennessee to lease 8,600 acres for fracking “research,” and the whole thing really stinks

From Steve Horn:

Hi All:

My latest investigative piece is now up on DeSmogBlog. The enterprise being implemented at UT-Knoxville, though, takes the concept of “frackademia” to a whole new level.

In a nutshell: Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has set up a self-enriching scheme at UT-Knoxville, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees (his dad Jim formerly served on it) and his family gives tens of millions of dollars in endowments. 8,600 acres of UT’s land will soon be fracked for “research purposes” to learn “best practices” for fracking.

My article digs into the Haslam family’s major financial stake in fracking moving forward, which is an immense one. The family owns both Marathon Petroleum and Pilot Flying J fueling stations, which are the biggest implementors of T. Boone Picken’s “America’s Natural Gas Highway” for 18-wheelers.

UT-Knoxville, it seems, is being transformed into the family’s land leasing agency, all in the name of “research” and “fundraising,” as Haslam continues to offer budget cuts to the UT System.

Any help passing along this piece over social media and other venues would be greatly appreciated. Cross-posts always welcome, but please put an original URL link back to DeSmogBlog. Excerpt below.


Haslam Family: Leveraging UT-Knoxville Ties for Fracking Profits

Gov. Haslam, the former Mayor of Knoxville, took $398,110 from the oil and gas industry before his Nov. 2010 gubernatorial race victory.

The Haslam family is an oil and gas family through and through, standing to profit immensely from a fracking boom in Tennessee and nationwide.

In 2012, the Haslam family – owners of Pilot Flying J truck fueling stations, a corporation where Bill Haslem used to serve as president – purchased Western Petroleum and Maxum Petroleum. Both Western and Maxum are major suppliers of fuel and lubricants for fracking operations. Pilot Flying J is the nation’s No. 1 retailer of diesel fuel and is the 6th most profitable corporation in the U.S., earning over $29 billion in 2012.

Read more.

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