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NYT reports on shale 'flawed,' ANGA says

June 29, 2011 at 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) -- Reports on the prospects of shale natural gas in the United States are "deeply flawed, inaccurate and misleading," a natural gas alliance executive said.

Reports in The New York Times on shale gas in the United States compare the optimism in the emerging energy source to a Ponzi scheme and the so-called dot-com bubble that pushed stock markets to historic highs on speculation surrounding the Internet sector.

Regina Hopper, chief executive officer at America's Natural Gas Alliance, a group representing 30 North American natural gas companies, said much of the reporting in the Times was inaccurate, accusing the report's author of never actually interviewing many of the sources.

"Recent New York Times reporting on natural gas has been deeply flawed, inaccurate and misleading," Hopper said in a statement. "The paper has apparently chosen to ignore important facts that would have presented Times' readers with a more balanced perspective."

The Times reported Tuesday several U.S. lawmakers are now calling for investigations into the prospects of shale gas.

Hydraulic fracturing, the method used to extract gas from shale deposits, is under scrutiny by environmentalists who worry the fluids used in the process might get into groundwater aquifers. State regulators note, however, that the practice has been in use for several decades without incident.

Raymond Learsy, a former commodity trader and frequent oil critic, accuses the Times in a Huffington Post article of "buttering up the oil industry, an industry that would be a major loser if the projections for shale gas are proven out over time."

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