MDN’s hat is off to Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon who spoke his mind yesterday at a shale gas conference in Philadelphia. Outside the industry event were hundreds of protesters, and McClendon had the following to say about them:
"Remind me: What value have the protesters outside created? What jobs have they created? You know the answer and so do I," he said.
"So it’s time that we contrast what we do for a living with what they do for a living."
He said the opponents’ goal is to shut down gas drilling altogether.
"What a glorious vision of the future: It’s cold, it’s dark and we’re all hungry," said McClendon…"I have no interest in turning the clock back to the dark ages like our opponents do."
McClendon accused critics of distorting the facts. He asserted there have been only a few dozen cases of methane migration into well-water supplies in northeastern Pennsylvania, all of them unrelated to fracking, and that residents were merely inconvenienced.
"Looking back, was anybody hurt? Was there any permanent or even temporary environmental damage? No, no and no. Some folks were inconvenienced, for sure, and for that we’re deeply sorry," McClendon said.
But he said the industry’s benefits — including lower home-heating bills, tens of thousands of new jobs, and millions of dollars of landowner wealth — more than outweigh the isolated cases of contamination.
He also said that new well-casing standards in Pennsylvania have largely eliminated the methane problem.
"Problem identified, problem solved. That’s how we do it in the natural gas industry," said McClendon.*
Well said Mr. McClendon!
*Elmira Star-Gazette/AP (Sep 7, 2011) – Chesapeake CEO takes on anti-drilling ‘extremists’