Aubrey McClendon’s departure at Chesapeake Energy has suddenly shaken up the situation for the nation’s second largest gas drilling company. The stock jumped 12 percent on the news. But analysts are saying that McClendon’s exit obviously won’t solve Chessie’s problem of excessive debt. More asset sales are probably in the works. A takeover is also a possibility. But respect may grow for McClendon’s 24-year tenure as the dust settles. In any case, the departing CEO got an $11.7 million compensation package for his efforts. And the Chesapeake-sponsored Oklahoma City Thunder (above) is still the NBA’s premier basketball team.
China’s coal problems seem to be coming to a head as Beijing and other major cities are enveloped in carbon exhausts. The Washington Post notes that China now burns more coal than the rest of the world combined. On OilPrice, Wolf Richter notes that China’s blackest day is probably still to come. Yet there doesn’t seem to be any easy way out.
Pennsylvania farmers are reaping the benefits of the state’s gas boom as Philly.com reports their royalties will top $1 billion this year. Production is also booming in Eastern Kentucky but West Virginia has been shaken by a gas pipeline explosion, although in a state inured to coal mining disasters it probably won't close down the wells. Thomas Shepstone, on MasterResource, laments how Yoko Ono and other celebrities are preventing a similar bonanza from taking place in upstate New York. But even though New York is holding out, Shell predicts that gas prices won’t be rising this year.
Finally, geothermal energy is progressing and still seeking new technological breakthroughs. Hawaii Electric has applied to add 50 new megawatts – the Islands already get 20 percent of its power from underground. AltaRock is having success in its plans to open geothermal plants in Oregon. The news must be good because JPMorgan is investing in eight plants around the country. And CleanTechnica reports that building reservoirs around geothermal vents may be able to cut the costs of power in half. Geothermal still seems like an underutilized resource.