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Criticized NY university shale gas center closes

The University at Buffalo has closed its new shale gas research institute, which was under investigation by the State University Board of Trustees after a group of professors accused it of having undisclosed ties to industry. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports.

Environmental groups have been critical of the institute since May, when it released its first report. The report concluded that state regulators in Pennsylvania have improved oversight of the gas drilling industry and New York's regulations will prevent major environmental impacts.

A coalition of faculty, staff, students and alumni subsequently questioned its academic integrity and called for an inquiry into the institute's industry ties.

On Monday, University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi announced his decision to close the institute effective immediately. He said the decision followed an internal assessment of the institute.

© 2012 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.