Health Study Must be Scrutinized

 Statement from the Colorado Oil & Gas Association on Alleged Findings in CU School of Public Health Study: 

“This is a very serious allegation. If you recall, Lisa McKenzie’s last major study in 2014 was disavowed by state health officials and in fact the state’s top health official went so far as to say the public could be “misled” by it. University researchers shouldn’t be in the game of scaring people just to secure additional funding. Still, public health is obviously of great concern to our industry and we will review her data immediately. We also look forward to the state’s review of the study.”

*New* Statement from Dr. Larry Wolk, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on the study.

Previous Issues with Dr. McKenzie’s Work:

  1. Energy in Depth: For a Second Time, Colorado Health Officials Disavow Research Team Favored by Anti-Fracking Activists
  2. Energy in Depth: Discredited Anti-Fracking Researcher Pitching Herself as Academic Neutral
  3. Statement from Dr. Larry Wolk RE: 2014 Study 
  4. Colorado Independent Interview with Dr. Larry Wolk
  5. Energy in Depth: Eight Worst Inputs Used in Colorado Health Study
  6. Colorado Oil & Gas Association Statement on 2012 Lisa McKenzie Study

This isn’t the first time Lisa McKenzie’s research has come under fire. Last Friday, Energy in Depth released a new blog post, “Discredited Anti-Fracking Researcher Pitching Herself as ‘Academic Neutral,'” highlighting McKenzie’s history of questionable research.

In 2014, McKenzie’s research attempting to link oil and gas development with birth defects was questioned by Dr. Larry Wolk, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Wolk stated, “It is difficult to draw conclusions from this study, due to its design and limitations.” He went on to further question the study saying: “As Chief Medical Officer, I would tell pregnant women and mothers who live, or who at-the-time-of-their- pregnancy lived, in proximity to a gas well not to rely on this study as an explanation of why one of their children might have had a birth defect. Many factors known to contribute to birth defects were ignored in this study.”

The Colorado Independent featured an interview with Dr. Larry Wolk in September of 2016 and he addressed the issue of perceived health impacts from hydraulic fracturing. Wolk said, “I think people often invoke public health or health concerns when we don’t necessarily have evidence that there is a valid health issue.”

McKenzie has a history of publishing questionable research, in 2012 she released a study that was debunked by Energy in Depth and the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. McKenzie herself admitted to flaws in her methodology while on a panel.

Contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for comment.

Read More »