Thursday, October 25, 2012
USGS : Well, no, that would break the trust with the gas companies that allowed us access.
USGS : Because we were told so.
USGS : The US Department of Energy in collaboration with the gas companies.
USGS : No, but pressure from higher-ups at USGS forced our hand .
To summarize: The oil and gas industry chose specific wells, in which USGS researchers unsurprisingly measured low radon concentrations and were then pressured by the oil and gas industry to publish these preliminary findings, under the USGS imprimatur. It appears the USGS has been corrupted by the oil and gas industry.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
The head of a citizens advisory panel for the state’s parks and forests has been canned, purportedly to cut down on costs. But one member and Natural Resources committee says that’s baloney, reports the Associated Press:
Say good-bye to the stunning vistas, crystal-clear pools, cascading waterfalls and massive rock formations, they will soon be replaced by bare dirt, cement pads, frackwater pools, drilling spills and massive drill rigs.
Legislative Hearing Sought Into State Parks Director’s Resignation
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Encana tipped off Chesapeake to land plans in Michigan - Emails
Excerpt (Emphasis added): As Chesapeake Energy Corp and Encana Corp face antitrust investigations, emails reviewed by Reuters indicate that top executives of the two rivals shared sensitive information that gave Chesapeake the upper hand in deals with Michigan land owners.The emails show the competitors traded information about whether Encana was halting new land leasing in Michigan in 2010, and the information prompted Chesapeake to dramatically change its leasing strategy in subsequent weeks and helped send Michigan land prices tumbling from record highs.Excerpt (Emphasis added) : Encana said it held talks with Chesapeake without reaching an agreement on a joint venture. It has begun an internal inquiry led by the chairman of its board of directors. Chesapeake also acknowledged it held talks with Encana but said the two companies never consummated any agreement and never bid jointly.
Encana clears itself of collusion in Michigan | Reuters | By Brian Grow and Scott Haggett | ATLANTA/CALGARY, Alberta | Wed Sep 5, 2012
The company's board of directors, which led the investigation launched on June 25 with the assistance of outside attorneys, did not provide a report on the scope of the inquiry, nor explain how it reached its conclusion."We can't offer more detail than what we've released as the issue is still under investigation by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Michigan Attorney General," Encana spokesman Jay Averill said in an email.Encana has been served with subpeonas from Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a civil investigatory demand from the Michigan Attorney General. Encana said it will cooperate with the two agencies.Chesapeake Energy has confirmed a federal grand jury is looking into the company's acquisition of land and leases in Michigan.
Excerpt (Emphasis added) : In regulatory filings, Chesapeake said it received a subpoena from a field office of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division. Federal prosecutors in the Western District of Michigan have opened a federal grand jury inquiry into the purchase and lease of oil and gas rights.Chesapeake also said several state government agencies have asked for documents in connection with oil and gas leases. It did not provide additional details.“Chesapeake intends to provide information in response to these investigations, and its board of directors is conducting an internal review of the matter,” Chesapeake said in the filing.
Nothing to worry about. The hens are safe and the foxes are teaching the hens how to make omelets.
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Saturday, September 1, 2012
Chip Northrup explains in The Inevitable Slow Path to New York Shale Gas
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
......As documented by blogger Dory Hippauf, EID consists of several interrelated fronts in several states, with ties to various PR firms, gas companies, and political lobbyists. The group has worked extensively to try discredit those who express concerns about fracking, targeting the New York Times and the Oscar-nominated documentary film “Gasland," and its director Josh Fox.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp, has borrowed as much as $1.1 billion over the last three years against his stake in thousands of company wells - a move that analysts, academics and attorneys who reviewed loan documents say raises the potential for conflicts of interest.The loans, which haven't been previously detailed to shareholders, are used to fund McClendon's operating costs for an unusual corporate perk that offers him a chance to invest in a 2.5 percent interest in every well the company drills. McClendon in turn is using the 2.5 percent stakes as collateral on those same loans, documents filed in five states show.
The damage control from Chesapeake has been, well, a bit peculiar, and weak. While the actual loan transactions and failure to disclose to the shareholders may be “legal”, it does bring up the issue of conflict of interest and makes one wonder what else is going on with McClendon.
As Reuters dropped more shoes regarding Chesapeake Energy and Aubrey McClendon over the next few weeks, I kept hearing a chorus of nuns singing “How do you solve a problem like McClendon?” Unlike Maria von Trapp, Aubrey doesn’t have a Mother Superior looking out for him, but he does have the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) looking AT him.
The Wall Street Journal reports: (emphasis added)
The previous week, Chesapeake Energy announced three oil and gas asset monetization transactions for proceeds of $2.6 Billion.
Rolling Stone rebutted the rebuttal.
The company issuing the rejections wasn't much of a business at all. It was a shell company - a paper-only firm with no real operations - called Northern Michigan Exploration LLC.
“Chesapeake says it didn’t have to say more and cites as legal justification a court ruling involving Martha Stewart.”
It wasn't long before ENRON and Chesapeake Energy would be spoken in the same breath.
Chesapeake Energy quickly circled the wagons and fired up the spin machine by retaining George Sard, the CEO of Sard Verbinnen. Sard was described as a "spinmeister of the apocalypse" by Portfolio magazine in April 2009, because he has worked as a PR consultant for so many high-profile clients in moments of utter, humiliating public collapse."
Sard's clients have included the Madoff brothers (Ponzi scheme), Eliot Spitzer (prostitution), Martha Stewart (insider trading), former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld (Ponzi scheme), and AIG (Ponzi scheme). His firm was also on the scene during the Enron collapse -- JPMorgan hired him to beat back accusations that the bank was complicit in the Enron fraud (it eventually paid $135 million to settle SEC charges).
----Gee, those worked out really well, didn't they?
Sard describes itself as: (Emphasis added)
Sard Verbinnen & Co (SVC) is a leading strategic corporate and financial communications firm. We provide communications counsel and services to clients including multinational corporations, smaller public and private companies, investment firms, financial and professional service firms, and high-profile individuals.
The firm’s highly experienced senior professionals provide sound, objective advice and execution support to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Our work encompasses corporate positioning, media relations and investor relations, transaction communications, litigation support, crisis communications, and other special situations.
We are regularly cited as one of the top M&A and crisis communications advisors in North America.
"I'm deeply sorry for all of the distractions of the past two weeks," McClendon, co-founder of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake, said on a conference call to discuss first-quarter results today. McClendon said the company may have to sell more assets than planned to cover a gap between cash flow and revenue if natural-gas prices remain depressed. These sales won't interfere with debt-reduction targets or plans to boost oil production, he said.
Goodwin said there are limited ways to punish a corporation. "It is not a life. It is not a being. It can't go to jail," he said. "The only thing that it can do is help make sure something like this doesn't happen again." - U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin speaking about West Virginia Mine Settlement, December 6, 2011“Corporations are people, my friend,” Former Governor Mitt Romney at Iowa State Fair. August 2011"I'll believe corporations are people when
executes one." – Unknown Texas
The Curtain: American Clean Skies Foundation
The “ACTIVITES” section of ACSF states:
The Foundation has an active energy policy and research program.We also provide funding for energyNOW!, an editorially independent TV news magazine on
’s major energy and environmental challenges. The program is distributed nationally by Bloomberg TV and by the ABC affiliate in America Washington DC
Vice President of the T. Boone Pickens Foundation.
Clean Energy Fuels is a “GOLD MEMBER” of Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition.
Littlefair is Chairman of the Natural Gas Vehicle America (ngvamerica.org) and has been a Board Member and Officer for 10 years. Littlefair was an officer at Mesa Inc. (a T.Boone Pickens venture), and served in various capacities for 10 years. Littlefair served in the Reagan White House from 1983–1987.
In May 2012, T. Boone Pickens sold his shares in Chesapeake Energy.
Ralph Eads IIIAubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy and Ralph Eads III, the Chairman of Jefferies Energy Investment Banking Group go way back in their association.
McClendon and Eads were Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers at Duke University.
Prior to joining Jefferies, Eads was Co-President of Jefferies Randall & Dewey. In February 2005, Jefferies acquired Randall & Dewey, which became Jefferies' Energy Investment Banking Group. Eads was President of Randall & Dewey.
His career includes being the Executive Vice President of El Paso Corporation, where he was responsible for El Paso’s unregulated businesses. Previously, he was Managing Director and head of the Energy Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He has held investment banking positions at S.G. Warburg, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch.
Eads is the Board of Trustees for Duke University.
Also on the Duke Trustee board is Xiqing Gao, the Vice Chairman, President and Chief Investment Officer of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China's sovereign investment fund. CIC has minority interest in Chesapeake Energy's CHK-Utica in Ohio.
McClendon and Eads are partners in Clos Dubreuil, a winery in Bordeaux, France.
By May 2012, Chesapeake Energy shares had taken a beating. A series of articles by Reuters revealed many problems both with how Chesapeake Energy conducted business and how McClendon’s personal interests may have some conflicts.
McClendon was removed as Chairman of the Board, and in June 2012 Chesapeake appointed new board members.
Around the same time as the S&P downgrade other market analysts were downgrading Chesapeake from "Buy" to "Hold", or "Hold" to "Sell".
Jefferies said that the sale of some of the company’s assets in the Marcellus Shale should help bridge the 2012 funding gap. Commenting, the analyst noted that “Progress along this front should result in the stock reflecting more of the upside embedded in CHK’s asset base. An update on the Utica JV should be imminent.”
McClendon is depending now on his Jefferies confidant at an even more crucial moment. Falling gas prices, combined with the buying binge, is forcing Chesapeake to unload assets to keep the company afloat. Along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Jefferies bankers are seeking buyers for oil-rich prospects and lending Chesapeake $4 billion in the meantime.
“Without Wall Street, Chesapeake wouldn’t be able to do what it has done,” said Phil Weiss, an analyst at Argus Research in New York who rates the shares “sell.”
Eads and New York-based Jefferies declined to comment.
“Ralph Eads and Jefferies have unmatched expertise in the E&P business and have added enormous value to Chesapeake’s business and its shareholders over many years,” Chesapeake said in a statement, referring to the exploration and production industry. “We deeply value our long-term relationship.”