Path Home Shows 2012 Show Archive January 2012 Show 1204 Aubrey McClendon -- Energy Future

Aubrey McClendon -- Energy Future

Value Added: We visit with Chesapeake's Aubrey McClendon about how we should balance the energy industry's environmental impact with its economic benefits.
Aubrey McClendon -- Energy Future

Aubrey McClendon

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Chesapeake Energy

Show Dates

Show 1204: Aubrey McClendon Interview - Energy Future

Air date: January 22, 2012



Rob McClendon: Well, despite the economic benefits the energy industry is producing around the nation, there are those who are voicing concern over the use of something called fracking, which is when high pressure water is injected deep underground to shatter the shale rock that holds the natural gas. Now while the practice has completely revolutionized the natural gas industry, a series of small earthquakes in areas where fracking has been used does have some questioning whether the two are related. Now I had the chance to sit down with Chesapeake’s Aubrey McClendon to visit about how we should balance the energy industry’s environmental impact with its economic benefits.

Rob: Is it going to take another energy crisis for us to literally get off our duffs here in America and find a sensible energy policy?

Aubrey: In some ways I think we’re in an energy crisis already; we already export a billion dollars a day of our national wealth to places around the world, some of which leaks out to terrorist organizations, and then we have to go spend more money to fight that there. So in a way we’re kind of in a rolling crisis. It’s not characterized as that because for most people, $2.50 gasoline is affordable; but if you get to a point where gasoline prices go $3.50, $4, $4.50, $5, I think we have serious problems again. And we will have missed a real opportunity to embrace cheaper American domestic natural gas rather than imported oil.

Rob: The past several years have certainly been interesting for the industry from a technological standpoint, but also from some of the ups and downs. Has technology, is technology a double-edged sword?

Aubrey: Well, I mean, I think the downside of technology is that we deplete more quickly the resources that we find; but from a capital return perspective, that’s better. And we’ve found so much new natural gas; actually, we think it is a good idea to get it out of the ground as fast as possible. It’s difficult to see, though, that any negatives with technology would ever come close to matching the huge positives of natural gas, which is just in the last few years, we’ve found more clean-burning natural gas in America than all the oil that there is in Saudi Arabia, and ours is much, is much cheaper as well.

Rob: When we talk about challenges, what do you see as the biggest challenge: either government regulation or public perception?

Aubrey: Oh, they’re probably related a little bit in the sense that politicians feed off public perceptions. But right now, we’re not a well-understood industry. We’re doing a better job of telling that story. There’s a natural gas marketing campaign out there today to bring home to people the, all the great things that this fuel does. And when we think we achieve that we’ll also be educating politicians as well. But it’s, you know, we don’t brand our product the way that other people do so it’s always been difficult to associate a brand name with natural gas, but we’re making progress there.

Rob: As an Oklahoman, what do people need to understand about this industry?

Aubrey: Oh, that it’s absolutely been the foundation of why our state has not endured the ravages of the recession the way that other states have, and not only did we not go down as far, we’re gonna bounce back more quickly. And we’re going to take this state to a different level in the years ahead. It’s very exciting, a cleaner, brighter energy future for America and brought to you by Oklahomans.

Rob: Thank you, Mr. McClendon.

Aubrey: OK, Rob. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Rob: Now we have much, much more on Oklahoma’s energy industry on our website. There you will be able to hear from T. Boone Pickens on his plan to convert our nation’s big rigs to CNG; we visit a new one-of-a-kind classroom teaching a new generation of CNG mechanics; plus one of my favorites, the interesting idea of turning our nation’s struggling post offices into CNG filling stations. Now to see any of these just head to our website at, and click on this week’s value added.