State Votes To Allow Bidding On UT Drilling Project - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

State Votes To Allow Bidding On UT Drilling Project

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee took a major step Friday toward it's goal of drilling for natural gas.  That drilling will be done on thousands of acres of public land.  

Members of the State Building Committee voted on Friday to alow UT to start accepting bids from oil and gas companies. Before the vote, several environmental groups opposed to the plan held a rally on Legislative Plaza.

UT wants to lease eight thousand acres in Morgan and Scott Counties to the highest bidder. The university claims its goal is to provide good research about the environmental effects of fracking.

Opponents claim industry-funded research is a conflict of interest, and UT is focused on making millions of dollars.

"I think there is no way to avoid that heavy funding having an impact on the research products," said Scott Banbury with the Sierra Club.

The University of Tennessee said there are safeguards in place to make sure the research will be independent.

Past stories:

Emails Raise Questions About UT Fracking Plans

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