Aubrey McClendon, CEO, Chesapeake Energy, blasted anti-drilling, anti-fracking critics and called them anti-drilling extremists. According to McClendon, fear mongering extremists want Americans to live in a world where “it’s cold, it’s dark and we’re all hungry.”
These broadsides were directed at environmentalists who in the words of McClendon say that fracking and the drilling boom it’s created has led to polluted air, has tainted groundwater and has made people sick.
McClendon made a point. The criticism and protests of the environmentalists added nothing to the wealth of the nation, found an alternate source of energy or created jobs.
McClendon accused those critics of distorting the facts. He asserted there have been only a few dozen cases of methane migration of well-water supplies in northeastern Pennsylvania, 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.