Today: "It implies that 100 years of natural gas is a sure thing. It is not. The whole question of how much gas we have – or oil or coal, for that matter – is fraught with uncertainty. It depends on factors like price and demand and whether new technologies can be developed to get at hard-to-extract gas, and whether or not you care that we blast and drill our way through suburbs and National Parks. Chris Nelder over at Slate has a good primer on this. As Nelder points out, when you look at actual proven reserves, we have only about 11 years worth of gas. If that's true, it raises a whole lot of interesting questions about future energy investments. I mean, if T. Boone Pickens wants to invest hundreds of millions of his dollars to convert vehicles to natural gas, that’s up to him – but why invest big public dollars in a fuel that might not last much more than a decade"
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/bl ... z1o1COXs3i
"He sips his Bordeaux; his own private wine cellar once boasted more than 10,000 bottles. It's a good riff, with some truth to it. But what McClendon leaves out is the real nature of the business he's in. Fracking, it turns out, is about producing cheap energy the same way the mortgage crisis was about helping realize the dreams of middle-class homeowners. For Chesapeake, the primary profit in fracking comes not from selling the gas itself, but from buying and flipping the land that contains the gas. The company is now the largest leaseholder in the United States, owning the drilling rights to some 15 million acres – an area more than twice the size of Maryland. McClendon has financed this land grab with junk bonds and complex partnerships and future production deals, creating a highly leveraged, deeply indebted company that has more in common with Enron than ExxonMobil. As McClendon put it in a conference call with Wall Street analysts a few years ago, "I can assure you that buying leases for x and selling them for 5x or 10x is a lot more profitable than trying to produce gas at $5 or $6 per million cubic feet." Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ne ... z1o1CvHrLr
"The problem with all sophisticated technology, of course, is that things inevitably go wrong. Last April, a Chesapeake well in Bradford County suffered a massive blowout. It was the onshore, natural gas version of what happened to BP in the Gulf two years ago: A wellhead flange failed, and toxic water gushed uncontrollably from the well for several days before workers were able to bring it under control. Seven families were evacuated from their homes as 10,000 gallons of fracking fluid spilled into surrounding pastures and streams. Pennsylvania fined the company $250,000 – the highest penalty allowed under state law."
"Turning vast stretches of Pennsylvania into a pincushion in order to ship gas to China doesn't exactly mesh with McClendon's emphasis on making America energy independent. But unless something changes, that's precisely where things are headed – on a grand scale. "In the Marcellus, the boom has just begun," says Ingraffea, the Cornell engineer. "The idea is to drill everywhere."