The Bankruptcy of Fracked Gas: The Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Just a quick little rant here, but it’s worth filing a mention of the goliath of fracked natural gas, Chesapeake Energy bankruptcy. I’m not going to get into the details since the story is everywhere in the financial news. To see how big a deal this is, just search “Chesapeake Energy bankruptcy” and you’ll get many returns!

Wrap your head around this set of facts [1]:

1989– Year founded; that’s a short lifespan for an industry that’s supposed to be so great.
$37 billion– Height of the company’s value
$115 million– Value now
$9 billion– Debt the company has now
$15.4 million– The company’s CEO salary last year. (Now that is LOOTING! Maybe no broken glass but massive damage done.)
Huge– Amount of ecological damage and costs left to the public to pay. [2]

If, like AIRE, you’re following natural gas because it’s big lie (e.g. bridge fuel, clean, etc.) is one of the powerful barriers to all out renewable energy adoption (think of pipelines, natural gas plants, insane utility investment in natural gas, etc.), stay tuned to this story. Chesapeake won’t be the last to fall. But it’s painful to hear natural gas being defended as if fracked gas is just fine. Looking at you New River Light & Power and Appalachian State University.[3] You too, Duke Energy (also here and here for example)…..Regrettably, you’re not alone.

I remember the soda can analogy back when fracking was mythically touted as some high-tech new technology (you know, blowing things up under ground then poisoning the water then letting killer methane leak out into the atmosphere. That “technology”)…… shake the can, open it and it spews wildly for a second then it’s over. Lots left in the open can to leak out. That’s fracked gas. It’s over.

In addition to the financial media, here a good source to follow this as the story:
Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (nothing posted as of my writing, but check them out)


[1] Source of “facts” list and image: The Guardian
[2] So many environmental issues that will take lots of money to mitigate. That’ll be the story of who is left holding the bag on this defunct fracking insanity. See this AIRE post for some insights.
[3] Having signed new contracts for natural gas generation. Another story, but there is an undemocratic lack of transparency surrounding the contract.

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