Politico has the latest on the energy industry’s aggressive response to New York Times reporter Ian Urbina’s critical articles about the safety and economic viability of shale drilling.
Urbina is the lead reporter on the Times‘ influential “Drilling Down” series, which has focused most of its attention on Pennsylvania.
Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger are prominently featured in the website’s report:
Kathryn Klaber, president of the Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, complained that the Times is on a “witch hunt.”
“In what seems to be a campaign to malign the modern-day shale gas revolution under way in America, this latest attempt to discount hydraulic fracturing’s long and clear record of environmental safety relies on vague and disputed information about an incident that occurred nearly 30 years ago,” Klaber said of Wednesday’s story.
John Hanger, a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, compared Urbina to two infamous Times ethics cases from the previous decade.
“This is not their first rogue reporter: Judith Miller, Jayson Blair, the list could go on,” said Hanger, who has complained about the way Urbina quoted him in a gas article in February.
Hanger said he was disappointed that the Times hasn’t taken any action in response to Brisbane’s criticisms.
“What this gas reporter has now is two extraordinary public reprimands,” Hanger added. “He has been censured by one of his own. It shows that the New York Times management with hiring and firing authority is unwilling to protect the credibility of the paper as a whole.”
We’ve documented Hanger’s previous run-ins with Urbina. In June, the two tangled on the Diane Rehm show. Last month, Hanger wrote a series of critical blog posts about Urbina, after the Times public editor Arthur Brisbane addressed his reporting in a column. (Brisbane wrote a follow-up post on Sunday; Times national editors Rick Berke and Adam Bryant responded to his concerns about the series in these two posts.)