The Face Behind Shale Gas

image via forbes

Aubrey McClendon is the CEO of the second-largest natural gas producer (after Exxon) in the US, Chesapeake Energy Corp, based in Oklahoma City. Last fall, he was on the cover of Forbes magazine and given the title "America's Most Reckless Billionaire." This is the face of the shale gas industry, a man who:

-Charters private flights to Amsterdam and Paris with his wife and two sons, takes two weeks off for vacation, but charges the $108,000 price of the flights to the company, billed as "business"

-Makes sure on-site Botox treatments for employees at the company headquarters

-Has a contract that allows him to take unlimited chartered business AND personal flights for free (sometimes racking up bills around $370,000)

However, back in April the shares in Chesapeake Energy Corp fell about 10%. Unbeknownst to Chesapeake shareholders until after an initial 5% drop, McClendon had taken out $1.1 billion in loans. A further drop by 10% in the price of the company's shares caused many to begin to question the professionalism of the CEO--as well as the future of the company. And combined with the fact that more and more scientists and media outlets condemning the viability and reliability of shale gas exploration, it doesn't seem like McClendon is going to be able to keep up his decadent lifestyle. Somehow we don't feel too bad about that.

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