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CNX Engages Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

CNX CEO Nick Deiuliis writes to local group following inflammatory comments on Radical Transparency

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To: Edward C. Ketyer, M.D., F.A.A.P.


Dr. Ketyer,

Thank you for your contribution to the recent Wall Street Journal article that featured the historic agreement between CNX Resources and Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro. Free expression of viewpoints is a fundamental requisite for effective journalism and an essential individual right in our republican democracy. ​

I found your quote in the story puzzling. You said, “The evidence is in. Fracking is bad for health and the environment.”

That’s quite a bold statement. Some might even say accusatory in nature, or legally actionable. And it comes from someone holding a medical degree, carrying the inference of an expert, no less.

Sadly, our industry has no shortage of critics, who often apply a shrill fanaticism of a virulent religion. Some manipulate data to support their criticism. Others voice incendiary opinions without even bothering to fabricate a basis. That’s what religions have done for centuries when it comes to scientific realities that conflict with the faith. ​ ​

Yet you and I share scientific backgrounds. I want to believe your medical training would not allow you to succumb to such anti-science behavior. ​ ​

Professionally, you are bound by the Hippocratic Oath. Three tenets are very much applicable in this instance. ​

First, as a health care provider, you committed to "abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm." Announcing something to be true with an inference of conclusive evidence backing it, yet knowing there is no such evidence, would be a clear violation of this tenet.

Second, as a doctor, when not certain on a matter, you promised "I will not be ashamed to say 'I know not.'" Professing to the uninformed that you do know what you don’t bother to know is a harsh rebuke of such a promise. And it places personal ego and vanity ahead of science and facts.

Most importantly, as a physician, you professed, “Above all, I must not play at God.” When you publicly admonish an effort that aims to transparently publish real-time data so citizens know exactly what is occurring, you trample science and look to replace it with omnipotence based on ideological belief. ​ ​

Ultimately, logic dictates one of us is mistaken. Because I see “evidence” that fracking is not bad for health or the environment. In fact, it is crucial to our future health and environmental well-being. ​

This disagreement between us is what the Radical Transparency initiative seeks to settle. All stakeholders need a common set of source data, directly from field sites, sent simultaneously to company officials and state regulators, and freely available to all willing to study it. To vilify such an effort raises questions about motive.

You appear to be passionate about the region and its wonderful people. So am I. Another thing we share in common. ​ ​

I have a proposition: join our effort. Consider this a personal and perpetually open invitation to come and meet with the real people involved in this effort. Come and visit our well sites to see the environmental monitoring technology. Come and see our 24-hour monitoring center. Please bring the “settled data” you reference. We will show you how to access the data we are reporting hourly. ​

I'm willing to put in the work necessary to arrive at the unquestionable reality of this matter. Using data and science. Will you join me?





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