Aubrey McClendon's penchant for "land grab" as a business model made the recently-ousted Chesapeake Energy CEO infamous -- and he's at it again for his new start-up hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") company in Ohio's Utica Shale basin.
As long as it is cheaper for companies to pay any fines that may result from regulatory violations than make the necessary operational changes, regulations cannot protect communities from the environmental and health impacts of fracking.
The oil and gas industry has propagated a vision that fracking unleashes vast amounts of gas which then flows relatively steadily for decades. But a growing mountain of evidence suggests that nothing could be further from the truth.
Since late 2009, there's been a slowly-growing wave of attacks from the unconventional oil and gas industry on media outlets that cover the controversies surrounding hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other shale gas practices.
The answer lies in how inefficient and/or difficult it is to be alone and an outlier on a board. Boards aim to be collegiate, making sure diverse opinions are aired while also providing good financial oversight of the company.
It's easy to get taken in by the industry barkers who make promises that seem so great, but when the potential costs are as great as they are in this instance, taking time to look behind the curtain is essential.
Given radioactive wastewater, earthquakes, and flammable tap water, one might think that drilling and fracking could not possibly have any more dirty secrets. But here's the biggest secret of all: it's expensive.