Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, had a tough day last Friday at the annual shareholder’s meeting at Chesapeake’s headquarters in Oklahoma City . Shareholders passed a number of votes against the sitting board and against McClendon. McClendon had previously announced that Chesapeake’s two largest shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management and Carl Ichan will be allowed to nominate four new board members and a new chairperson, replacing more than half of the board. The new members are slated to begin later this month. Still, shareholders withheld approval of two sitting board members up for re-election. They both promptly offered their resignations.
A number of large shareholders addressed McClendon and the current board. Some were rather blunt about McClendon’s doubtful future with the company he founded in 1989:
Over the weekend, the Gannett News Service ran a story in several of its newspapers and TV stations in New York State detailing the contents of emails that have flown back and forth between the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the topic of hydraulic fracturing in New York over the past four years. A copy of the emails is embedded below.
There’s really nothing earth shatteringly new in the emails. Some interesting tidbits perhaps, but all of it now ancient history and not worth being hot and bothered about.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating whether or not drilling activity by Range Resources at their Yeager Marcellus Shale site in Washington County, PA is causing air pollution and groundwater contamination. Range operates a wastewater pond and a drill cuttings pit at the site.
Several families living close to the site filed a personal injury lawsuit last month against Range.
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has a subcommittee called the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. It’s chaired by Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD). Last week Congressman Harris sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson. The purpose of the letter? Essentially it puts Ms. Jackson on notice that Congress is tired of her agency’s witch hunt with respect to hydraulic fracturing, and encourages the EPA to stop being so sloppy with its work in that regard (MDN’s interpretation of what Harris said).
In essence, Mr. Harris accuses Ms. Jackson and the EPA of promoting a political agenda instead of performing real science. A copy of the full letter is embedded below.
Does nearby drilling have a negative effect on real estate values? It’s a debate that has raged over the past several years. The drilling industry will say that on average, housing prices are unaffected by drilling. But if drilling is close—very close—there seems little doubt that it can negatively impact a homeowner’s property value. It’s one of the issues that those of us who support drilling must face honestly and openly. And figure out how to address it.
A case in point comes from a home owner in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio (Cuyahoga County).
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wants the state-owned vehicles in his state to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) produced right in his own state, and he’s assembled a task force to investigate how to make it happen: