Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chesapeake CEO says there’s a solution for every natural gas drilling concern

Chesapeake Energy chief executive Aubrey McClendon says that for every environmental concern or drilling inconvenience his industry causes, there is a solution.
Rather than ban natural gas drilling in the U.S., reducing the country’s supply of a relatively cheap, clean, domestic fuel, the discussion should be about fixing problems, he said in a speech at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference in Dallas on Friday.
“I believe every one of these issues or inconveniences we’ve had has an engineering solution or a human solution,” said McClendon, who leads the most active natural gas driller in the country.
Still, the push-back to drilling from environmental activists and neighborhood groups will cost the industry, he said. As lawmakers halt drilling in some areas or add regulations, there are “financial costs, and it’s going to drive smaller companies out of business,” he said.
“It is a big boy’s game,” he said.
During the past couple of years, activists have accused natural gas drillers of contaminating drinking water and polluting the air. Some activists have collected scientific data to show that natural gas drilling causes health and environmental problems, while drilling companies have gathered their own data to counter the accusations.

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