Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Bursting their bubble
We've seen it before.
What's different about this "news"? The Rolling Stone chose to answer back. Point by point. Read the entire article. The closing is not to be missed. Bravo.
Keep on rockin'.
The company entirely dodges the article’s central point: that Chesapeake is highly-leveraged firm operated by a corporate gambler who engaged in complex scheme to profit off the illusion that America has a virtually unlimited supply of cheap natural gas.
But when it came time to answer more substantial questions, all traces of transparency vanished. A quick example: I asked Chesapeake three times to provide me with a statistic for the total volume of dirty flowback water the company handled in the Marcellus Shale region last year. I got no answer.
Even more disturbing, when I asked McClendon directly if he or his company had contributed any money to presidential candidates or their PACs during the current campaign, he said flatly that they had not. This was curious to me, because McClendon has a long history of making campaign donations, and often encourages others in the industry to give to PACs as a way to make sure their voices are heard. So I asked him again in email a few days later: The answer was still "no." A week later, a researcher at Rolling Stone discovered that Chesapeake had indeed contributed $250,000 to Rick Perry's campaign last fall. When I asked Kehs about this, he admitted it was true. Apparently McClendon operates in a world where a quarter million dollar campaign contribution can just slip one’s mind.