“The real catalyst for the shale revolution was… the 2008 financial crisis and the era of unpredictably low interest rates it ushered in.”
“if companies were forced to live within the cash flow they produce, U.S. oil would have grown at a quarter to half the rate that it has.”
“You can make the argument that the federal reserve is entirely responsible for the fracking boom.”
So prologues three quotes from various investors in McLean’s short new book on the planetary disaster that is hydraulic fracturing. Fracking has a plenitude of gigantic problems & extreme ramifications, it’s long term environmental implications, short-term social & community based destruction, immediate contaminate toll on ground water, methane flaring/airborne pollution & extensive poisoning of soil & earth with highly hazardous chemicals, induction of earthquakes, not to mention that it is a false & entirely gratuitous petroleum panacea being spuriously miss-sold as a moderately clean transition fuel (nothing could be further from the reality) that can eventually lead to truly clean/renewable energy sources that are actually already available, efficient & popular. Saudi America dishes the dirt & makes the additional argument that fracking is also a tenuous, mendacious & dangerous bubble… a kind of dotcom come sub-prime in waiting, propped up by loans & subsidy from Wall Street & operating like a poor ‘derivatives’ con-job by crash-and-burn snake oil salesmen fugitives who are making personal fortunes at the massive, massive expense of others (that’s before we even get into the environmental, health & social decimation this god-awful industry is reaping).
McLean is famed for co-writing the much vaunted “The Smartest Guys in the Room” with fellow author Peter Elkind which detailed the spectacular collapse & scandal of US corporate titan Enron (then the seventh largest company in America). It’s no wonder that she is turning her attentions to this precarious industry.
“the fracking boom has been fueled mostly by overheated investment capital, not cash flow.”
we start with the chapter “America’s Most Reckless Billionaire”, a fellow, or was it felon? – that anyone that’s been closely following this ruse will know well – the notorious Aubrey McClendon, disgraced CEO of Chesapeake Industries. Aubrey died after he drove his car at high-speed into a concrete viaduct in 2016 in what seems to be a clear suicide. The previous day, he had finally been indicted for violating antitrust laws. “In the fall of 2008, Forbes had ranked McClendon 134 on its list of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of over $3 billion. But because he borrowed so much money, and secured business loans with personal guarantees, two years after his death, lawyers were still wrangling over the remains of his estate, trying to figure out which debts would be paid”.
It’s an absolute mess. Just a mass of fraud, feint, slight-of-hand, malfeasance, masturbation of figures, book cooking, obfuscation, bluffing, false bluster & the like. The game was pretty much up, but perversely, & with very grave & extremely dangerous consequences for our species & planet, the forlorn industry was somehow resuscitated & dragged from deaths clutches by The Chump Disintegration! Naturally, this dodgy, perilous & unstable trash-&-earn orientated steroid-subsidy dependent enterprise with a cock-pit designed for the cavalier, lie n’ load, gob-shite gambler con-man was an irresistible illicit industry that Chump could not resist endorsing. In close accordance with his impaired shit-think, his obsession with “beautiful clean coal” which his Disintegration is actually going to subsidize, means that he is aiding the subvention of two oppositional industries (coal & shale/unnatural gas). As cluster fucks, calamities & contradictions are all an integral part of the reign of error, it will fall to pieces & be dismissed as progress whenever the wheels come off.
A historic mess. A biblical mess. An atrocious industry propelled by bane & bullshit with annihilation as its final destination. Just a complete, total & utter sewer of misrule, lies, cheating, conning, abuse, trickery, stupidity, suicidal-short-termism, recklessness, dishonesty, massive poisoning, toxicity, pollution, chemical damage, human misery, criminality, major corruption, waste & market felony.
It’s not like we needed yet another reason to reject in entirety the atrocity that is hydraulic fracturing, but here’s another bunch of truly epic flaws & ruin from this utterly egregious cursed industry.
“The Administration is also trying to use the EPA, run by Oklahoman Scott Pruitt, to save coal. Among other things, the EPA has rolled back the implementation of Obama Administration rules to control emissions that threaten human health.”
Bethany McLean, Columbia Global Reoprts, 2018, 131 pages
pure, unabashed & blatant corruption – Claire Perry – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/26/energy-minister-had-private-meeting-with-fracking-firms-in-may-claire-perry