Natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy, led by the now-embattled tycoon Aubrey McClendon, colluded with a competitor to keep land prices down and avoid bidding wars over lucrative energy deposits.
In the wake of a damaging report that Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon had taken out more than $1.1 billion in personal loans over the past three years, new details have emerged showing the energy tycoon borrowed money from a member of his company’s board and failed to disclose it.
The Justice Department is investigating Chesapeake Energy—the second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S. that spent millions pushing the idea that natural gas is a clean alternative to coal—for possible criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, Chesapeake disclosed that the company is under investigation for three of its well sites in West Virginia.
The Washington Post reports T. Boone Pickens was among the natural gas industry’s donors to green groups, including a nearly half-million dollar donation to the Center for American Progress, while he was advocating for legislation that would have directly benefitted a company he founded.
Chesapeake Energy, one of the biggest natural gas companies in the United States, has funneled millions of dollars to environmental and health groups to attack the coal industry, all under the guise of promoting clean air—and has spent millions more lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency and members of Congress. The second-largest natural gas producer in the U.S., Chesapeake donated $26 million to the Sierra Club and funded ad campaigns by the American Lung Association to steer public favor toward natural gas energy and the controversial hydraulic fracturing process used to obtain it.