Michigan Succeeds in Shaking Down Chesapeake for Measly $25M

The ShakedownThe shakedown is complete. In June 2012 Reuters tried to stir up trouble against Chesapeake Energy by broadcasting “leaked” (Watergate anyone?) emails that somehow magically appeared on the Reuters doorstep that supposedly show Chesapeake trying to collude with Encana Energy to keep the price of Michigan state land oil and gas leases artificially low (see Did Reuters Break the Law with Latest Chesapeake Story?). Eventually Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed charges against Chesapeake, even though the federal government investigated and didn’t find anything worth pursuing. Schuette put his reputation on the line and was hell-bent to ensure he got something/anything out of Chesapeake. Schuette finally has a settlement–for a measly $25 million. It likely cost his department more than that to pursue Chesapeake. But, Schuette’s shakedown for $25M lets him save face, and it lets Chesapeake move on from this sham charge in Michigan…

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