Chesapeake Full-Page Ad

An anonymous reader sent the text of a full-page ad in today's Corning Leader, paid for by Chesapeake Energy. It's essentially a declaration of war against Eric Massa, indirectly accusing him of misrepresenting the situation and using "political rhetoric". I've included the whole thing after the break, but one claim merits closer inspection.

Chesapeake says that "Congressman Eric Massa was informed on February 2, 2010 [...] that we are no longer actively pursuing our permit request [...] We have since followed up ad that commitment an have formally withdrawn our permit application for it." [emphasis in original]

Here's what Chesapeake actually said in that letter: "[...] it is premature for us to pull the application at this time." There was no commitment in the February 2 letter.

Chesapeake says that it is "disappointing that our positions continue to be misrepresented" -- apparently they're disappointed with themselves, because they misrepresented their own letter, written less than three weeks ago.

Here's the whole letter:


Dear Residents and Citizens of New York State:

There has been much discussion in recent weeks about Chesapeake Appalachia LLC's application to convert an existing natural gas well into an underground injection well near Keuka Lake to dispose of water from natural gas production. This is a common and highly regulated practice in the natural gas industry and Chesapeake wants you to know the facts:

Congressman Eric Massa was informed on February 2, 2010, in a letter from the Chairman and CEO of our company that we are no longer actively pursuing our permit request for this injection well. We have since followed up on that commitment and have formally withdrawn our permit application for it.

Chesapeake did not withdraw its permit request because we believe the well would have been a threat to the environment. In fact, the EPA runs the underground injection well program, and it is among the most successful and safest waste management programs. In addition, the proposed well is an existing gas production well that has been in service sine 1998, and it is part of a gas field in this area of the Finger Lakes region that has produced for decades with no adverse effect on the environment.

This application and careful regulatory review process was initiated a year ago. We withdrew the application for two reasons. First, we determined that an injection well in this area is not presently necessary given the inability to drill Marcellus wells in New York due to regulatory delays. Second, since initiating the permit application process, we have been increasingly successful in recycling our produced water, greatly reducing our need for additional New York disposal facilities.

We find it disappointing that our positions continue to be misrepresented, even at the public meeting held with area residents on February 7, 2010. It is detrimental to our efforts to constructively work together as we drill for and produce clean, domestic natural gas in a safe and responsible manner. Comparisons of our industry's operations to "Love Canal" are inappropriate, unconstructive and reflect ignorance of the protective measures being taken by both our industry and the regulatory community in managing natural gas development. It is also detrimental to efforts to provide the public with factual information regarding an issue of critical public importance, especially at a time when natural gas exploration holds such economic promise for stakeholders across southern and central New York.

Chesapeake shares the desire of local residents to serve as fully committed stewards of the environment. We have successfully drilled thousands of wells over the past 20 years and have a solid track record of drilling safely and responsibly in some of the most eco-sensitive areas of the country. Despite many unfounded claims, the independent, nonprofit Groundwater Protection Council recently submitted written comments in New York, and the EPA provided corroborating testimony in Congress in December, 2009, that there has never been a single documented case of groundwater contamination as a result of fracture stimulation in the development of natural gas reserves. For more information, go to

Chesapeake also knows that drilling for natural gas in New York's area of Marcellus Shale could create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars of investment, create billions of dollars of landowner wealth and provide tax revenue that could be used to fund education, health care and other programs across the state. Deep shale natural gas exploration is helping revitalize regional economies in every area where this activity takes place. In fact, over the state line in Pennsylvania, Chesapeake has paid more than a billion dollars to mineral rights owners and is employing almost 1,000 people directly and thousands more indirectly. New Yorkers deserve the opportunity, too. We are confident our investment in your area could be of great value locally while playing a vital role in reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, we can protect the environment by producing and using more cleaner-burning natural gas instead of higher-polluting coal.

As we look to the future, we are hopeful that our discussions -- and your decisions -- about natural gas drilling can be based on the facts and not misinformation and political rhetoric. You have our commitment to listen to your concerns and to work together to safely and responsibly drill for America's most abundant and affordable clean energy source -- natural gas.


Dave Spigelmyer
Vice President, Government Relations
Chesapeake Energy Corporation


About all Chesapeake left out would be the statistics (lies, damned lies…), but I suppose they are implied in a couple of places.

This is an attempt by Chesapeake to save face and as you say declare war on Eric Massa. That a tiny town like Pulteney was able to make a huge corporation back down does not bode well for Chesapeake. This I'm sure is having reverberating effects in all areas of the nation concerned about drilling the shale. Other exploration companies can not be happy with Chesapeakes inability to stop the devastating fire storm started in Pulteney. As you have said Rottenchester "Chesapeake has shown nothing but arrogance and a desire to mislead throughout this controversy. Being one of Chesapeake's allies in the Southern Tier is pure political poison." This ad in The Leader is Chesapeakes way to try and change that. Time to send more money to Eric Massa For Congress.

Yeah, I am on Massa's side on this one. Watch how Chesapeake starts pumping (further) dollars into the Massa-Reed campaign.

A recent story in Forbes magazine rated oil rig and gas pipeline workers as having the worst job in America for 2010

The piece referenced above, concerning oil rig and gas pipeline jobs, is a PR piece posted by a law firm.

Not that it doesn't contain valid information, but the source should be noted.

I am no expert on hydrofracking, and perhaps someone less pissed and more articulate than I could say this more eloquently.

I have been doing my own research on hydrofracking over the past six months. I have listened to both sides of the issue.

Ultimately, I have made my own conclusions by talking to local residents, hearing from people across the country, learning from geologists, scientists, engineers, and many others who have nothing to gain from sharing their knowledge about the existing and potentially ill effects of this process (except of course for the preservation of safe drinking water, property values, quality of life, and health for themselves and their families).

I have found their experiences and data to be way more valuable than the BS pumped from a public relations division of one of the largest gas corporations in the world, one that stands poised to make trillions of dollars by raping the hillsides of our state. Taking their rhetoric at face value would be the equivalent of drinking the koolaide in Jonestown.

I trust that the citizens of beautiful NY will not be fooled into complacency and that the democratic process remains strong enough to protect us all.