Chevron Corporation recently got a representative of the academic community to endorse its product. But they didn’t explain that there is a financial relationship between the energy company and the university where the professor/endorser works. Welcome to Frackville.
Chevron took out a full-page ad in The New Yorker on September 26 that simply reads, “The World Needs More Than Oil.” It’s signed by Chevron General Manager of Gas Marketing and Commercialization Neil Theobald and by Professor Alan Robson, the vice chancellor of the University of Western Australia (UWA)—apparently an attempt to demonstrate support from members of the academic community.
Chevron Gets Fracking Support from University of Western Australia Chevron Corporation advertised its academic support from the University of Western Australia, but they didn't explain the financial relationship between the company and the university.
But the university professor just might be biased on the matter. Back in 2008, Chevron invited UWA to join Stanford, MIT, Texas A&M, the Imperial College London and Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia as a member of its University Partnership Program and donated $2.3 million to the school to fund a Chair in Natural Gas Process Engineering, two postdoctoral appointments and two PhD scholarships.
When Chevron and UWA announced the partnership, Robson said, “Our relationship with Chevron and its industry and academic partners will enable us to produce more job ready graduates and allow Chevron to draw on our substantial research and teaching expertise.”
It is clear that what is good for Chevron is also good for the University of Western Australia, which makes Professor Robson’s support of natural gas more of a commercial endorsement than an academic one.