Published on May 22nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan3
Pickens Dumps Chesapeake Energy, Vermont to Outlaw Fracking, 55 Investors With $1 Trillion Want Shale Gas Fracking Cleaned Up
I covered Rolling Stone‘s excellent piece on a potential fracking bubble and scam back in March, and while I know that many are sold on fracking’s benefits (even Obama, it seems), I can tell you that I wouldn’t put my money on it in the long term. Here are a few recent stories that I think are rather telling:
1) T. Boone Pickens, formerly one of natural gas’s most ardent supporters and biggest cheerleaders, has dropped his holdings in Chesapeake, reportedly due to its low prices. But not only that, Pickens has gone as far as to say that “natural gas has been a disaster.”
“These are the same low prices that are making it preferable to sell our domestic energy to China and India, rather than provide us with the energy security that the oil and gas industry promised with expanded gas development,” Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director, states.
“T. Boone Pickens’s recent divestment from Chesapeake Energy shows that natural gas is a house of cards, and that even one of its biggest cheerleaders has grown wise to this fact.
“The oil and gas industry is industrializing rural communities and destroying our air and water, with no real benefit to anyone—not even investors.”
2) Vermont, while it’s not exactly a natural gas gold mine, is to become the first state in the US to ban oil and natural gas fracking. “Vermont will be the first state to outlaw a controversial oil and gas drilling method known as fracking when Governor Peter Shumlin signs a bill banning the practice,” Reuters writes.
“Governor Shumlin does support the fracking ban,” said Sue Allen, a spokeswoman for Vermont’s Democratic governor. “He will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.”
3) 55 investors with $1 trillion of assets have teamed up to promote “best practices” in the natural gas fracking industry, wanting the whole process cleaned up.
“Major investors are no longer willing to sit by idly as energy companies engaged in shale gas fracking face concerns about industry drilling problems, growing regulatory uncertainty, and increasing opposition from concerned shareholders,” Boston Common Asset Management, one of three groups behind this push, writes.
Image: natural gas fracking drilling rig courtesy Shutterstock